The other day I mentioned how I tend to start a post, delete it, then start over. And eventually, end up with nothing getting posted. So, while looking for inspiration for the next blog post, I scrolled through the posts I’d written to see what drafts I’d started and not finished – just to see if anything was there that I could use. And guess what I found…F is for Finish What You Start.
Seems like a while back, a long while, that I’d started a series on writing short stories from A-Z and had made it to F. So, since it’s a good series and I have most of it planned, I’m going to continue with it. I’ll post links to A-E below so you can catch up.
“Finish the work, otherwise an unfinished work will finish you.”
― Amit Kalantri
One of the saddest things is an unfinished story. And believe me, I know. I have quite a few of them laying around waiting on me to get back to them. Some are short stories, some are the beginnings of a novel, and some are just bits of ideas or a scene that came to me. I have them on pieces of paper in a drawer, on the puter in an “idea” file, and even named and in a “novel” file. And one day, I do plan to get back to them.
How you ever noticed though, how you will be writing along on a project and all of a sudden, the idea for another story pops up? For me, this happens about the time I get to the middle of a project and am not sure exactly what happens next. I was told to expect this and when it happens, to just write it down and save it for later. Then, every so often, go back through them to see what strikes you, demands to be written.
Here’s the thing. If you don’t finish the started project, you are just spinning your wheels and wasting time. And cheating your readers.
I believe stories are given to us to be told. Someone out there needs our story. They need to laugh, or cry, or escape, or just be entertained. And that is really what we as storytellers do. We entertain and allow our readers to escape into a different world through our stories. We give them a chance to share emotions with our characters. When the bad guy in our story gets what he deserves, our readers cheer. When good triumphs over evil, our readers triumph too.
G. Chesterton said, “Fairy tells do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”
While I don’t approve of killing dragons, I like this sentiment of this quote. Stories inspire, teach, entertain, soothe, comfort, and so many other things. Don’t cheat your readers by not finishing your stories.
Here’s the links to the rest of the series.
Now, go out and finish something.