You Never Quite Know

The cool and/or difficult bit about writing is that, at the time of writing, you never quite know whether what you’ve written is any good or not (though you can usually tell when it’s crap). That’s the thing you usually find out after editing and/or after coming back to it after a few days or longer. And that’s what I’ve been doing – I’ve been looking at the things I’d written around December and, after throwing a few bits into my ‘Dead Story’ folder, and tinkering with the ones that survived (and including one of the things I wrote yesterday), I’ve half a dozen very short stories I’m pleased with. Which is fab and a little surprising.

I think the point I’m struggling to make is: When you’re a writer there’s no need to rush. Stories keep. And they can be improved, even rescued, long after they’ve been written.

***

And now I need to eat. It has been a long, long week. But a good one, all told.

10 Comments on “You Never Quite Know

  1.  by  Michelle Teasdale

    Yes, sometimes a little bit of 'brewing' time is all it needs, as it were. I like the idea of a 'dead stories' folder, you should never throw them away or delete them, you never know what you could do with them after a bit of breathing space.

  2.  by  Nik Perring

    Exactly, Annie. They're funny creatures are stories, and don't like to be rushed!Thanks Michelle. Yeah, a dead stories folder works for me – it lets me move on and forget about whatever it is that isn't working and get onto something that might, and allows me to come back to it if I so desire.

  3.  by  Julia Bohanna

    Ah that distance. It really is like being passionately in love, then as things fade..it takes time to actually see the person as they really are – good or bad.

  4.  by  Alex

    I've often found that after a little space I truely hate something I thought was great. Sometimes I try to completely forget about a story once the first draft is done and then if I have the idea again or find myself thinking about it I'll dig it out.

  5.  by  Kellyq

    I think it can work both ways….sometimes you can think it is great on writing and then after realise it really isn't! Equally sometimes I leave something for months and come back to it and think 'Did I really write that..?' and feel very proud of myself…It is often like I am reading someone else's work…Anyway apologies if I don't make sense too many beverages this evening!Kelly

  6.  by  Sarah

    Six stories is fab. I agree – nothing is ever wasted. I'm currently looking again at a WIP that I left for dead a couple of years back and thinking – hmm – possibilities.Distance lends ruthlessness? I'm up for murdering a few darlings that I was cherishing then 🙂

  7.  by  Nik Perring

    Well put, Julia. I like that.I think that's a useful system, Alex. Thing is, when we're writing it we're bound to love it, but that love can cause a wee it of blindness. Space helps.Vanessa – exactly. They can't, can they? I can suspect I've got something that's got legs, but can never be more certain than that.That makes perfect sense, Kelly.Very true, Annie.

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