Saturday, November 7, 2009

Waiting on unrevised work

So you write a story. You know it needs revising, but you can't stand to read at it any more. You've read it a lot already. It's too familiar, too present. You know you can't revise it in that state. You set it down. You'll come back to it when you've grown some distance. You know, when the story cools. When it's not so new.

A week goes by. A month. Two months. Nine. The story's cool now. It's stone-cold. It's also - ahem - older.

So are you.

But still you sit and still you wait, without excuses now.

Bah! A sign that you will never go back to the story!

A sign that you are just another lazy, unserious bum, lacking dedication and afraid of hard work!
Of course, I am describing myself here, but I'm guessing (just guessing) that maybe this is not an uncommon thing.
Come on, guys, 'fess up. Who has been sitting on an unrevised story for months or years? And how do you feel about it?
Personally, I feel awful. Just awful. Now where did I put that remote control?


  1. I write a lot of short stories. Nothing I would try to publish. I simply write for my own benefit. Anyhow, when I am done I might read through the pages once or twice looking for mistakes. After that though I leave it. I don't care if it is poorly written. I'm not the perfectionist.

    However, a few months later, or maybe even after a year has passed, I'll come back to it for some reason. And then I think, man, that doesn't flow so well. At that point I might try to fix it. The only problem is, properly revising a work can often times be just as time consuming as when you first write it.

  2. I go through my short stories periodically and look over them. If they meet the "plot, character, emotion" criteria, they go in the revise basket. IF they don't, they go in the "drek" folder.


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