Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Frozen Assets

If every single book, short story, or article I ever wrote was published, I'd be a happy man.

Anyone who's ever tackled writing (successfully or unsuccessfully) knows what I mean. They likely have file folders and boxes filled with manuscripts that saw anywhere from quarter- to full-completion, then went into indefinite retirement under the bed. If all those works were published, Stephen King would be scrambling to keep up his reputation as a prolific author.

But reality is different.

. . . Dang it.

I was once a firm believer in the philosophy that, once you finish the first draft of a manuscript, you should put it away somewhere and let it "freeze" for a week -- at least. That way, when you return to edit, it's not as engrained in your brain. You're less apt to consider each word your baby, more apt to cut, slash, eliminate, and redo.

For me, the concept works great in theory.

In execution, it's more like this: The manuscripts I put away to "freeze" usually experience an Ice Age of Hoth-esque proportions.

And then, once (if) I break out the old manuscripts again with a mind toward completing them, the plots are so ancient I feel like I'm trying to rollerblade on a gravel road. I have to spend time refamiliarizing myself with the story and its concepts... and these days time is too precious a commodity.

No more "freezing" for this guy. Pick a project, stick with it, finish it.

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