Leave No Story Unfinished

You got it! It's a take off on the famous quote, "leave no stone unturned," by Euripides :-) Writers, have you started a book only to abandon it after a few chapters? Why did you do this? Lose interest? Told all you had to tell? Didn’t know what happened next? Three years ago I had a book I’d left unfinished too. I’d started it a few years earlier. I felt the weight of it hanging over my head. I felt like a quitter anytime I thought of the story. Once I turned back to writing full time--and more seriously than ever, I decided the first thing I had to do was finish that book. I had a lot of it completed, maybe two-thirds. It was a single title time-travel book. That meant it needed to be around a hundred-thousand words or 400 manuscript pages. I had already completed a longer book, so I knew I could do it. I think the plot got bogged down and that’s why I’d put it on hold. Once I got back into the book, however, I enjoyed finishing it. By that time, I wasn’t just doing it to "complete a book" but because I really wanted to. I was in love with my characters again. I found my joy in the writing of it. And that further motivated me to start a new book once I had that project done. Besides that, no book is a waste of time. You learn new things with each one. Your craft improves; your voice becomes more distinct. Even if the book never sells, it’s practice. And practice is all some people need to become skilled enough to sell. Am I saying you should finish every book you start? No, but think about it long and hard before abandoning it completely.

PS this photo is the view out my front windows.

6 comments:

Tess Harrison said...

Hi Vonda! Thanks for visiting my journal. I have several manuscripts started and in various stages. I've followed advice on getting what I could down so I wouldn't lose it before I had a chance to get back to it. Now I just need to get get back to them. But two are the first books in series that I'm plotting.

I love the picture! I'm jealous of your view.

Vonda said...

Thank you for visiting and commenting, Teresa! Sounds like you have unfinished manuscripts for the best reasons. Not because you lost interest, but because you have so many story ideas coming at you that you don't have time to finish them all. (Whew! I'm envious!) :-) But I'm sure you will finish them given the time.

Cristina said...

Hi Vonda! Your blog looks wonderful and seems to characteristic of you! What heartening sentiment you've left us with today. I'm still struggling with my first, and I keep telling myself not to quit! Beautiful photo. Stunning view. Stop by and visit me. I started my blog here last week because it's much more aesthetically pleasing than the other place I'm at. Keep up the good work, sweetie!
Cris

Cristina said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
randy said...

Funny, I was just thinking about that this morning.

Strangely enough, the first romance I started writing, I actually finished--back when I was, er, 22. After that, every couple of years I'd start one, get about a chapter into it, then lose interest. Finally, when I was about 40, I wrote another entire manuscript.

What I finally realized was that my need to write came from the enjoyment of fantasizing about the "first meet." I'd conjure up a cool premise of bringing the h/h together...and then what? Didn't (at the time) really know about plotting, character growth, etc.

Then,when I started writing seriously again (3 years ago) I very accidentally happened upon a Debra Dixon GMC workshop and...wow...all the bells went off.

Since then, I've completed two manuscripts...LOL..all except the one I was writing when I took her workshop.

Vonda said...

Cris, Thanks for visiting! Both your blogs look fantastic. I'm glad you have a place to display your beautiful poetry. About your first book, keep going. You'll soon reach the 'happily every after.' I'm cheering you on.

Randy, I'm so glad you're finishing books now. You go, girl! That GMC theory is a gem isn't it? I love it.

I have to confess, there was another story I started a few years ago and didn't finish until last year. It was a contemporary comedy called Kilted Lover. Originally I had thought it would be a short contemporary, but then I realized there would be no market for it. So I took the main premise, sliced and diced a little and turned it into a sexy, funny novella.