I was going through some files on my hard drive the other day, and I came across several stories that I had started. The dates on them range back to 1997, if you can believe it. :) Some are as short as a half a page, while others are about 70 pages. But, mostly they are anywhere from 2 to 35 pages. Some of them sounds so good, I can't believe I wrote them. Others…well, I can tell from the get-go, they will never see the printed page. It's not that the ideas are bad; they just have no clear direction, no real conflict. So, what am I going to do about them? Absolutely nothing.
"But, Shannon, they are just taking up space. If you aren't going to work on them, get rid of them!"
I say, "No way!"
Those stories, the good ones and the bad ones are my babies, and I'm not about to kill them. Not to say that I have never trashed a manuscript, because I have. Back before I used a computer, I had to trash those really bad stories, because the mountains of braille paper would have taken over. I wouldn't have minded this, but my mom was a stickler for a clean room, and braille paper stacked all over the place did not promote a clean room.
Y'all should have seen me, when I learned that data could be stored on a disk and kept practically forever. I was like a kid in a candy store. Any brailled story I had went on to that first 3-1/2 inch floppy disk with my name on it. I spent countless hours in the computer lab, just transcribing my stories in to WordPerfect 5.1. lol That old computer was a 286 with dos on it. Now, my hard drive is so big, I can't remember the numbers, I'm surfing the world wide web countless times a day, and there is so much stuff saved on my Mac that it takes a long time to get through it all. Look at me now! Ha!
Sometimes, I find myself thinking that if i could take all the good parts from each unfinished manuscript, I might end up with a really great story. :) Of course, with characters being different, plots, times and places not being the same, I can't do that. However, I can take note of what works and what doesn't and try to incorporate those ideas in to something new. I guess to put it in simpler terms, I can learn from my mistakes and try again. Practice makes perfect, or at least that's what they say.
How about y'all? Any darlings you need to kill? lol
Be sure to come back Friday. I am interviewing WV writer, Salvatore Buttaci. Until then, keep smiling. Remember that song, "Smilers never lose and frowners never win. So, let the son shine in. Face it with a grin. Open up your heart, and let the son shine in." :)