Monday, July 08, 2013

They don't write themselves

I have spent a good part of the past three days reading through 338 of my partially written short stories. (I only read confessions, leaving 662 partially written stories of other genres unread for now.)

As I read, I corrected typos and misspellings, redrafted clumsy sentences, expanded scenes, filled plot holes, and, in general, did something constructive to nearly every story. I threw one barely started story in the trash because it too closely duplicated another story, leaving me with 337 confessions in progress.

The stories ranged from a few that are little more than titles or one-line descriptions to many others that are several thousand words into their creation. Every incomplete story I read has enough information on the page that I should be able to finish writing all of them if I dedicate my available time to doing nothing but writing these stories.

I won't dedicate all my available time to finishing these stories, though, because I keep generating new ideas, and many of the new ideas are for anthologies or for specific issues of the magazines for which I write. But I do dip into the well on occasion, finishing something because it fits an editor's current needs or because I'm between deadlines and am drawn to a particular story in progress.

More importantly, these unfinished stories provide a great deal of comfort. If I ever experience an idea drought, I have a deep well to draw from that could see me through several years of productive writing.

But the damned things don't write themselves. Perhaps it's time to warm up the fingers and see if I can increase my completion rate while I'm still able to generate new ideas.

No comments: