Saturday, April 23, 2011

Drowning in Fragments

When I first started writing fiction, I was pleased to find that I had no lack of ideas.

Now that I've been at this a while, my brain keeps spewing plot concepts at a rate my fingers can't keep up with. If it were simply a matter of a fat idea file, I'd have nothing to blog about. Nothing wrong with a fat idea file. The problem is that, recently, I've become over-ambitious at starting new projects based on these ideas. Notice I say starting, not finishing.

The problem has worsened, I believe, since I subscribed to the Duotrope newsletter. I wait frantically for it to arrive each week, and pore over the "Themed Issues Deadlines" feature. Every week I get inspired by at least one theme, and usually start writing about one of them.

Now I have a fat file of rather bloody story fragments. I'm trying to do the responsible thing and commit to finishing two per month (considering I've also got two novels in the works and lots of marketing to do on finished novels).

Surely I'm not alone in this gory habit of starting and abandoning stories. I honestly want and intend to finish all of them. Anyone out there have a solution or at least an improvement to offer?


  1. You are not alone! Umm.. But then, I have no solution. If I have flow going, I just write. But once the flow stops, I force myself to the oldest manuscript that I can reasonably expect to complete. Once that one is scratched off, I move on to the next.

    Oh, and I have an Excel spreadsheet of "Unfinished Stories." Every once in a while, I'll hit upon a new market that would make a perfect home for one of these stories, which inspires me to finish it up.

    Good luck...

  2. Yes, forcing myself to work on one or the other until there's a complete draft seems to be the answer. Otherwise I just flit around like a moth from one story to another.