Stories, Waiting To Be Told

Yesterday’s Patrick Rothfuss quote made me think about several novels that I’ve started over the years and either never worked on or never finished. Some of them were simply ideas I jotted down. Others I worked on in novel writing classes. I like all of them (some more than others). When I come across them on my computer, I’m still interested in the ideas – I still want to finish them all.

So why don’t I?

Well, the only problem with working on them right now is that I’m already working on more projects than I should: newer stories that I’m really into right now or already working on (like my personal writing challenge, twytte). There’s a good chance that if I added any more right now, I’d either go a bit nuts (more so) or screw up the story and have to fix it when I have more time. That’s counterproductive, so it seems better to wait.

On the other hand, since I keep getting exciting new ideas for stories, I’m not sure when I’ll actually get back to those stories. They’re interesting, but given the choice between a dusty old idea and a bright new one, the bright new one tends to get more attention.

I’m starting to wonder if that’s what Patrick Rothfuss meant in his quote. He didn’t seem to dislike his earlier story, so maybe the reason it’s not worth his time to get back to it is that it’s not the type of story that interests him now. The idea that was enthralling in high school may seem boring or old hat years later. Or it may simply seem less unique or relevant compared to new story ideas.

Even assuming that’s right (it’s a pretty big assumption), I still hope that I can get back to those stories someday. Maybe, I’ll have more time when these projects are done, or I’ll have a new idea that merges beautifully with one of the old ones. Whatever happens, I’m not quite ready to give up on those stories yet.

What about you? Anyone else have unfinished stories tucked away for a rainy day?

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