Saturday, January 15, 2011

Write 1 / Sub 1 Weekend Update

I subbed my second new story of 2011 earlier this week. "Delbert Kibbey's Mail Order Bride" seeks a good home. Will work for pennies a word.

And now...now I'm up to my proverbial eyeballs in half-finished manuscripts. Most started with characters and no real plot. I might have to declare a "mash up" and steal the characters, lock them in a room, and see who's left standing after a few thousand words.

I have learned something about myself: I need the plot before I can insert the characters. I know other writers work differently, but for me, no clear route to "the end"=half finished story.

10 comments:

Milo James Fowler said...

Cage match, definitely the way to go. To the victors go the plot!

Aaron Polson said...

I'm afraid it would meander into Saw territory...that would be sad.

But I might just make all of these characters into Mexican nationals and see if they can evade the Federalis (and darker things) as they try to make El Norte. Hmmm...

Cate Gardner said...

Yeah, see who steps up to the gate and dump the rest.

Lee Thompson said...

Cool on sticking with the write 1/sub 1 goal, man!

And half finished work isn't good. If you need to know the plot first, use that to your advantage. Otherwise you're wasting valuable time. :P (Not really, because you're getting to know the characters and that's a good thing.)

dmbonanno.com said...

I tend to be plot first as well, but the stories don't get unless I've got the right character in place to deal with the plot problem.

Half finished manuscripts to me are stories that weren't ready for me to write them, or I lacked the skill to see the whole story when I started them. It's good to go back. Especially if you mesh a few of them together and come up with something fantastic.

Does it work that way for you too?

Aaron Polson said...

Cate - They might come come back for revenge!

Lee - Tell me about it (re: half-finished work). I'm going somewhere with my latest short, though. I think. I hope?

D.M. - I let those half-finished manuscripts hang around...so yes, eventually the bits fall together. Sometimes they don't, but I don't mind.

Natalie L. Sin said...

I've had the same problem with many stories. Yet I almost have to have characters first. Otherwise I get bored. I just shouldn't write until I know where they're going.

Katey said...

I know lots of people who go plot first, then dig around for the characters that match up. I don't see how one method can be better than another, but I do know the grass is often greener. That method looks much neater somehow... probably just because mine always ends up a mess, no fault of my method's!

Aaron Polson said...

Natalie - Or how they're going to be killed/sexed, right?

Katey - Maybe part of my "thing" is how the character reveals her/himself through the plot? Maybe I'm just dumb effing lucky.

Rich said...

Damn, happens to me every time. If I don't know the ending (only has to be vague) it just doesn't work out.

And still I go and do it, 3600 words of a short scrapped because it lacked direction - arrggh!