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Monday, December 2, 2013

One Way To Decide About Those Unfinished Projects




How many unfinished WIP's are in your desk drawer or on the shelf--maybe way at the back? 

I have a few and when I found this article by ELLEN CASSEDY, I paid attention the questions she proposed writers ask themselves when they're stuck on a project.

She writes, "I don’t ask these questions right from the start. At first, I give myself a chance to experiment, to take risks, to give my attachment to the work a chance to grow. But after a while, I ask myself:

    • Am I behind this work 100%?  Do I love it to pieces?
    • When I imagine it published, do I feel peacock-proud, or kind of nervous?
    • Can I see myself traveling around the country, reading from a podium?
    • Have I sought out readers who really matter, experts who have the        authority to judge the work and suggest improvements?
    • Have I listened very carefully to what those readers have to say?"
My resolution for 2014 is to look carefully at my stalled WIP's and ask each of Ellen's questions as I review those stories. 

For the whole article by Ellen click HERE.

Any other questions you could add to Ellen's list? Share 'em, please. 

25 comments:

  1. I am stuck on a WIP right now so these questions come at a great time. Thanks for sharing the article!

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  2. I don't have many ideas in a drawer. (Wish I did!) I'd add - do I know who would want to read this?

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  3. I have many unfinished WIPs, but that's because they were started when I was in my 20s and I didn't know what the heck I was doing. They are mostly terrible. However... in some there's a seed/core idea that could be worth exploring.

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  4. If you don't love the story, no one else will either. Write the one you feel the most passionate about.

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  5. This is quite helpful, actually. It's a place most writers, if not all have been. Often, I've started a story and been overcome with enthusiasm. Then, something happens and I lose gusto or inspiration or whatever. So it goes on that back shelf you were talking about. But what to do with it? Hmm... You and Ellen have definitely given me something to think about.

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  6. Great advice. I actually have about 30 of them just sitting waiting for me to find time--it's not that I don't love them. One project at a time, eh? ;)

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  7. Great set of questions. I, too, will think through them concerning WIPs I have.

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  8. I think we're all on the same page here. And I like Alex's question.

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  10. Unfinished WIP's? Not me. Although, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar has a few snippets of intrigue she is hoping to finish.

    I love whatever I write. It's all good fun to me. If somebody actually reads what I write and enjoys it, great. If they don't, great. I think writers n'stuff put way too much pressure on themselves. What's it all about? Making money? Getting recognition? Getting approval? Or therapy? Maybe all of the above.

    All the best with your stalled WIP's.

    I'd better go....

    Gary

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  11. Love these questions! Thanks for sharing the link to Ellen's article.

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  12. Great questions to ask, not only with a stalled project but one you put aside because you couldn't sell it and want to revisit it.

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  13. These sound like great questions to ask ourselves about books we are writing or thinking about revisiting. :)
    ~Jess

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  14. Yep, I definitely have to love a work to pieces to be able to stick with it to the end.

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  15. @klahanie I'm waiting for Penny's next book. Tell her.
    @Ruth Thanks. Glad you found them helpful.
    @Natalie These questions set me to thinking about an old ms.
    @DMS Hi! Just took a stab at your latest riddle.
    @Lynda You're right about that. Why write it if you don't love it?

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  16. What great questions to keep in mind when stuck on a WIP or even toward the end of a first draft!

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  17. @Cherie I think I'll start attaching these after the first draft of everything I write.

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  18. My problem is, I want to do them all like yesterday. Then new ones will pop into my head and I want to do them too. I need to learn how to focus!

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  19. This is AWESOME!
    Now I realize that I don't HAVE to feel bad about the story I'm struggling to continue writing, because maybe it's NOT meant to be written... (does that make sense...?) and it also means that it's okay to have a thousand snippets that don't really belong to any particular story...

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  20. I'm crazy about too many ideas--I work on 'em all at the same time and then nothing gets finished. I need a business plan or a clone or maybe just another margarita:)

    Cheers to indecision!

    WriterlySam

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  21. Great questions to ponder. I do have a middle grade that is about 1/3 finished. I really, really want to finish it one day! I need more time in the day!!!

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  22. I have three WIPs I'm stuck on. My answer to all Ellen's questions is "No." But I haven't given up on finding a way to fix them and eventually be in love with them. I hope to be "peacock proud" even though I'm more "grumpy goat" now. ;)

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  23. I rewrote one unfinished MS last year and another the year before. The first one I'm querying for, the second still needs a lot of work.

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  24. Hi Lee - those questions could apply to life as well - so often we keep going in the same old way - and we do need to up our game at times and regenerate and recharge our batteries, our lives, our blog or book ...

    It seems like you've rung a bell for a few of us ... Cheers Hilary

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  25. These are good "test" questions to ponder whether or not to take a project to the next level. Sorry I have been out of the loop-it's the last day of my book tour and my head is spinning. Yours is the first blog I've posted on, so feel good about that! :)

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