Euthanizing stories

I’m in the slow, tedious process of putting together another collection of stories.  Part of the process is digging up stories I started years ago, but for one reason or another never finished.  What could go wrong finishing up some stories?

1) The reason I never finished them is because they don’t work.
2) I can’t remember where I was going with the story.
3) My writing style – in particular the way I approach a story – has changed over the years.

For the third case, I pretty much scrap the story and start over from scratch.  Stories that fall into the second category I give a dignified funeral and bury them in the Tomb of the Unknown Stories.  Now the stories from the first category – which at the time I thought was groundbreaking, but which I now see as amateurish at best – I beat to death and hide the bodies.


2 Responses to “Euthanizing stories”

  1. 2blu2btru Says:

    I am actually pursuing your third option for my NaNoWriMo story this year (my first year). I started writing it in my senior year of high school, and I am twenty-five now with a degree in English, so I’ve had a long time to change my writing style. There was no way to use anything that was written, and NaNoWriMo was as good an excuse as any to scrap it and start over. The idea is still good, I think 😀

    I always feel so sad after I have to “kill” a story, as if I let it down. Maybe I should start having dignified funerals for them. I like the concept.

  2. The tomb of the unknown!
    You never know when a part of those dead stories or those that dont’ work, will work in another; maybe a character name, a single line of metaphoric awesomeness, or a setting. I’m a plot pack-rat. I write them all down in a notebook. Also, said notebook helps keep stories from dying. Stories that don’t work can also be recycled via an edit, like you do when your writing voice changes.

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