As I type this blog post, I have nearly ten or fifteen unfinished works sitting in my stories folder. I’m not kidding. I just counted them all. How does this happen? How does one get this amazing idea one minute, write around 2,000 words or so and then, BAM, drop it?
Is it the follow through? Is it the inability to figure out your plot?
I think I’ve solved my own issues with this reoccurring problem.
The Fan Fiction world loves to call them plot bunnies. Just like in nature, a bunny will hop along looking for food and other bunnies to play with. They find a bunny, fall in love and then more bunnies appear. Not all the bunnies in that litter may make it though. Some of them will go out on their own and then cease to exist, gobbled up by the big bad wolf or some other unforeseen enemy in the wild.
The same happens with stories. We’ll have what we think is an amazing idea and once we get into the story we realize that maybe the plot wasn’t all that we wanted it to be. I had a book idea; in fact it was my very first book idea, in which a young girl finds out that she belongs to a coven of witches descended from years of her family ancestry. Her new boyfriend is also a witch. Okay, sounds great right? So far so good? However, half way through this book (20,000 words in) I realized that the plot was a great idea but then I realized the characters were dry. I didn’t like them anymore and the main character was really starting to bug the shit out of me.
So what did I do? I shelved it. It still sits in my document folder staring at me. It’s given me the stink eye for over three years now and I refuse to open it. One day later on in my writing career I may open it and completely reconstruct the story but until then, I’ll let it hang out.
It’s okay to have those unfinished stories lying around. In fact, Peach River was one of those. I started it, loved it, got busy with life and then realized I just couldn’t write anymore for a while. That’s another issue. Sometimes life gets in the way of the things we love to do. I had to go back to work for a while and while I worked, my writing failed. Now that I’m back in the saddle, I picked it up and never felt better.
My point is don’t feel bad about all those unfinished stories or ideas. You’ll get to them eventually and when you do it will be a lot better than trying to work on it right away. You will get a chance to develop your characters more, your story line will come together and those little bunnies will grow up to become kings of their forest.