Finishing What You Start

I have been actively writing since I was thirteen, which means I’ve been doing it for almost four years. That really isn’t a long time at all. Before then, I wrote on occassion when I felt like it but it never was serious. I never finished anything. In fact, I rarely finished a writing piece until this year as I started writing short stories when I took breaks from writing my novel. Completion of such a task has paid off as I am now included in an anthology booklet called “Babel’s Gate”, put together by Richard Egan. I am in the recently released Christmas issue, which is only the second issue ever. Here’s a link: http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/babels-gate—issue-2/8011439

Thinking about how my only completed works thus far have been of the shorter, approximately two thousand word variety, has had me wondering whether we can sometimes lose sight of a goal we set a long time ago. An example of this is to finish a novel. I know numerous writers who have a manuscript tucked away and never finished, and I hope that this does not happen to my novel and me. Even if my novel turns out to be pure, unsaleable garbage, I’d still like to finish it.

I know well what it’s like to not finish something, as I used to write Harry Potter fanfiction. I started countless stories, most of them rather dodgy, and did not complete a single one. There was one I stuck with for a while but I eventually gave up when I decided a character I had created for the fanfiction would be done better justice if put into her own novel. That is how my supporting character in “Coldfire”, Valora, nearly became the story’s protagonist. I changed to Darian when I started working on his character and liked his personality and figured his viewpoint would be much more reliable than Valora’s, as he is a stabler character.

Back on topic, I think the problem of not finishing things is a global pandemic. It doesn’t matter what race you are, where you live, chances are you have something you never finished. Circumstances can vary, but sometimes a writer decides their work isn’t going anywhere anymore and they move onto greener pastures…or manuscripts. Sometimes this can be due to lack of planning, or just an uncooperative piece of writing. That’s why I think I find it easier to write shorter stories. It’s possible to write the first draft in no more than a couple of days and then spend a few days longer perfecting it. Then it’s done. Finished. Outta here. Novels, however, are a gargantuan commitment and can take months and even years just to finish the first draft. So many just give up after falling under the weight of such responsibility.

I hope I do not become one of them.

PS: The word of the day is “gargantuan”. I love this word.

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