I have a number of stories that I’ve just completely run out of steam on. I don’t want to finish them, I’m not enthusiastic about writing them anymore. I was wondering, what do you think I should do with them? I spent a lot of time on them and it seems a shame to just up and delete them. What do you think?
I hear you. It’s always tough to bite the bullet and give up on a story that you’ve worked so hard on. I’ve posted a number of my unfinished stories here, which you can go back and read if you like.
All right to answer your question, there are quite a few things you can do with them. First, you could put them on the back burner. Who knows, you may come up with a way to continue the story sometime down the line. It’s never too late to go back and re-examine your previous works.
Secondly, you can always recycle the characters. Keep them around and reuse them later on in another book. If you write another story and are looking for dynamic characters to use, why write new ones? You’ve got characters right in a saved file that you were at one time very enthusiastic about. This is your chance to give them the finished story that they deserve.
Third, use those stories as a reference. Believe it or not, an abandoned Star Wars fanfic I wrote many years ago became the sequel to my first full-length novel, Divinity. Yes obviously the Face of Evil was cannibalized beyond recognition when it was rewritten as Damnation, but some elements of the original story still exist. If not for keeping a copy of The Face of Evil, Damnation may have either never existed or been a lot different than it is.
Finally, find another author to read and finish the work. Yes, there’s no rule that says you can’t co-author the story with someone else. I’ve personally never done this, but I have heard of others doing it with some success.
So I think in the end, having a library of unfinished works around cost you nothing more than a few megabytes. They’re good reference, a good starting point, and may be something you can revisit later on. So my advice to you is never to delete your writing. Don’t tear it up, don’t destroy it. Even in it’s unfinished form, the story itself has value.
Anyway, I hope this gives you some insight. If you have any further questions, please feel free to email me. Now let’s open it up to the other writers on here. What does everyone else think? What do you do with works that you can’t finish? Do you keep them around or just keep certain elements in your head? Is there some value in keeping them around?
Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.
I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.
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Catch you on the flip side!