Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dusting Off Old Manuscripts

Remember your first story? I don't. Seriously. All I recall is it was either horror or YA mystery and I wrote it in a blue spiral notebook. I went on to write a series of short stories and two more novellas, all before entering high school. Then I became interested in the 1920's and 1930's, particularly gangsters and Prohibition, so my stories revolved around those subjects. (Believe it or not, I still have a few pages of those stories.)

By the time I went to college and decided to major in English, my interest had shifted to more "literary" work and I was writing poetry and character-focused stories about expatriates in France during WWII or revolutionists during the Hungary uprising of 1956.

It took me nearly 20 years, a few poetry, review, and freelance article publications,before I came back to my dark genre roots. Okay, maybe not that long, but you get the idea.

During this time, I found I was writing but not producing. Oh, I would start a story, then the inner editor would kick in and I'd abandon it. So one day I decided I was going to write a story without going back and reading what I'd written until I finished. And I did. That was a YA horror, which will probably never see the proverbial light of day.

My next project was also my first NaNoWriMo: a dark vampire historical. Yes, I did finish it.

And, like the YA horror, I promptly pushed it aside as worthless. After all, I'd been taught first novels aren't publishable. (Although technically it wasn't my first...)

I couldn't help but wonder if the vampire story just needed a chance. So when I came across a class that focused on revamping abandoned manuscripts, I thought why not? Granted, I'd learned a lot about writing since that first NaNo, taken online classes, joined writers groups, worked with critique partners, etc. Maybe I couldn't salvage the entire book, but if parts were worth saving, it might be worth it.

The fate of this particular manuscript is still unknown. Then again, the class just started. :-)

1 comment:

P.L Dodds said...

My first story was a science fiction space adventure. As you mention, my inner editor also kicked in and the project was never finished. Looking back it was probably for the best.

Kind Regards

P.L. Dodds