Monday, May 10, 2010

The Illusive Work in Progress

I read an article in Writer's Digest the other day that really got me thinking...okay worrying is more accurate.

The article focused on the number of "stories" an author has in them and how generally speaking only 1 out of every 10 "stories" ever comes to fruition successfully. The vast majority, the writer suggested, get tossed out in the first draft or sit unfinished in favor of a new story that pops into the author's mind.

Now while I read the article, I was nodding my head in complete agreement. It sounded perfectly logical and reasonable. But later as I sat down to work on chapter 10 of my current WIP, I wondered: Is this one of the 9 that will never see the light of day? Is this the one that gets away? I quickly pushed the thought from my mind considering it completely self-defeating - and quite possibly self-fulfilling - and tried to get back to work.

As a newbie...only working on my second novel, I'm curious: how many of your works in progress actually get completed?


  1. When I was younger, a lot fell by the wayside. I was still experimenting with the novel, having bravely left the short story and playwriting behind. I kept all of my work, and they sit, slightly musty, in a big box. When I move house, they move. Some of them were quite good, including a heist story involving two women. Might go back to that one eventually. Since then, I complete my books (two so far, and one pending). Even if they never publish, they will be complete, and a sentimental family member can have them printed and bound for the archives.

  2. That's good to know, Fran! I also have a couple of boxes of short stories from college and such - I guess I never considered those as I didn't really consider myself a "serious writer" back then. Maybe I'll go back and take a look at them again!