Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Finished a Story I Started in...2013!

You read that right. I started a sword and soul fantasy short story back in 2013. It languished in my WIP folder on my computer for 9 years. Didn't know what to make of it or where it was going, plot-wise.

So now that I'm getting back to story writing, I want to finish a lot of "trunk" stories - tales I've abandoned or hidden away in a trunk, best left forgotten! But no, not forgotten! Maybe I can clean them up and make something of them!

That's what happened to this African based fantasy. I was 400 words into it and it just sputtered back in 2013. 

So I employed the best writing advice I've ever heard: Just write the next sentence. And then the next. And keep going until that story is done.

This is one of Heinlein's Rules for Writing. He famously distilled the business of writing down to the folowing five essential steps. 

Obviously, there is more to the craft of writing, but the business of writing (if you want to be a professional) starts here:

1) You must write.

2) You must finish what you start.

3) You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.

4) You must put your story on the market.

5) You must keep it on the market until sold.

Most people quit during Step 1. More people get off the bus at Step 2. If people are still writing, they ignore Step 3 and keep re-writing the same story over and over again, never sending it off to a market or putting it up for sale themselves (Step 4). And then, the last of the crowd will get a rejection and never bother with the story again.

But those who are long-term writing professionals will soldier through all 5 steps day after day after day. So right now I have four stories that I've submitted to markets. Four stories I've finished in the last two weeks. Two have already been rejected and I've resent them to other markets. I like quick rejections! 

So now I'm jazzed. I'm looking on my harddrive for any other potential story starts that need finishing up! I'll get to all of them eventually, for I have a number hidden away in various files. Then I'll write, and I'll finish, then I won't rewrite or edit but instead I will send it to market and keep sending it until it's sold. Who's with me?


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  1. Oooh congrats on getting the story finished - I know I'm great at starting writing but not such much with keeping the momentum going to the finish

    1. Thanks! It is a good feeling. But now I'm stuck in the middle of my current WIP! Argh. lol


Keep it clean and positive. (And sorry about the word verification, but the spmb*ts are out in full force!)