What to do with all of those unfinished projects

I’ve been bad lately.

I’ve been writing, but not every day, and certainly not as much as I need to finish NaNoWriMo.

So what do I do with that story? Do I finish it? Leave it for dead? Start another one?
Finish it definitely.

I’ve found that I am way better at writing short stories than novels. I don’t know if it’s an attention span thing, or a drawn out story thing, or an I’m addicted to tv shows thing, but i do know that it’s a fact.

So I had this great idea for my novel, but I just can’t seem to push it very far. So I’m going to rebrand it as a short story or novella (depending on final length).

So what have you given up on?

Let’s finish up this post with some useful information:

1. Finish projects

I think I can honestly say that I have at least tried to finish all of my projects. That doesn’t mean that they’re all finished. It certainly doesn’t mean that everything is good.

I had a stretch for a while in the summer when I wrote about three terrible stories.

And by terrible I mean that NO ONE will ever get to read them.

But I did muscle through and finish them. And eventually I wrote a story that other people would actually read. And who knows? Your failed novel could be a really good short story, or your failed short story could be a really good joke.

2. Know when to quit

If your novel is a really long painful expression of an idea, do everybody a favor and end it. The edit it down to a manageable word count.

Then call it a novella or short story.

Or if you have the drive and the skill, finish your novel. Novel writing is hard, so if you can finish it at full length you’ve really accomplished something.

So know when to quit: short or long you won’t be wrong.

3. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself

I decided to write this epic space opera one time. The only problem was that I lost all grip on the story and ended up writing the most absurd piece of fiction ever to grace my computer screen. And all I can do is laugh at it.

It’s terrible.

But I finished it.

You’ve probably written something similar. Don’t belittle yourself and think that you aren’t a good writer. Just laugh at it and keep writing. And maybe someday you can use it in a collection of blooper stories.

Do people even do that?

Anyway, don’t give up on your project. See it through to the end, and maybe you can use it in a way that you hadn’t thought of.

Keep writing!

8 thoughts on “What to do with all of those unfinished projects

  1. wlouison

    I, too, suffer from this….haha it’s like a writing disease.What you’re writing seems so great until you get bored and want to write ‘that other idea’!

      1. wlouison

        I just keep starting new stories until I get one I can finish haha for every complete story I’ve written, I’ve got like ten unfinished

  2. wf1019

    Right on, sometimes it’s hard to persevere and finish. I try to finish all of my projects so I can at least have something to look at and go: ‘I can’t believe i did that. Never again.”

    1. wlouison

      Why ‘never again’? haha I think my problem is I always want to write novels….most at least 100k and I can lose patience. Sometimes I want to write a particular scene so bad but I need to write a scene before it first. If I can’t get through that scene I start something else. Later on, like years later, I’ll come back to some of these and try to finish them. Sometimes I do and it’s great! Other times…it’s still the same as when I first tried! I guess it comes with being a writer.

      1. wf1019

        I can totally relate. I wrote a novel and it sucks. A lot. That’s when I figured out that I like writing short stories. But even then I have trouble ending them sometimes. I’m somewhat of a panster when it comes to writing the short stories. As for ‘never again’ it’s more of a joke! I know that I’m going to do it again, but I it’s fun to laugh at myself

  3. wlouison

    I agree. I laugh at myself all the time! Would you like to be buddies on NaNo? My NaNo username is ‘William Louison’ if you’re interested! 🙂

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