31 March 2008

Lost But Not Forgotten

No, I'm not about to quote Neil Young, but I have been sitting and contemplating my large stack of wayward beginnings lately. By this I mean all those half-written books that never quite got finished and sent out to publishers.

Why do I abandon them like orphaned children? Left to fend for themselves in the lonely expanse of my hard drive? It's not fair they should suffer the same fate as half-baked ideas that never quite gelled. These are noble stories, worthy stories, stories that had conflict, angst, plot and really mouth-watering heroes. They are the lost souls of fantasy, sci-fi and some paranormal that just seemed to fade into the background when a new and exciting plot or special project came along.

I hate that I do this. I don't love these stories any less for shifting them further down the TBW (to be written) pile. I sometimes believe I have Shiny Object Syndrome - a debilitating illness I caught from my ADD spouse. All it takes is a character that sparkles just a little brighter, or a conflict to combust just a little bigger to make me tear off in another direction, abandoning the other book like an empty chocolate wrapper.

I'm a terrible mother. These are my darlings. How can I treat them so bad? I'm the Joan Crawford of the literary world. I beat my books with wire hangers then send them to bed, not to look at them again until I get fractionally bored with something else I'm doing.

For the past two years, my New Years resolution has been to lose weight around the Document File. Since January I've met the goal of finishing three of those forgotten children. One I've sold to Wild Rose Press's Scarlet Rose line - it's a hot paranormal about a fallen angel titled, A Hot Day In Heaven. I finished an entry for Samhain's Tickle My Fantasy special project and completed the rough on a novel I've been wanting to send to Samhain for the past year and a half. I feel rather accomplished heading into April. Now if I can only finish the story of the horny Leprechaun King and the gothic I've promised Kensington first look at, then I'm set. But that's only the Works In Progess list. There's an entire Need To Finish list that has 11 other titles on it. And it doesn't help new ideas come to me everyday. But don't worry - I have a plan. I play the lottery nightly to increase my chances of being able to stay home and write for a living and not have to worry about those luxuries I've become accustom to called "food" and "shelter."

Aw, the plight of the prolific.

What does your TBW pile look like? Is it in need of a good spring cleaning?

-Kat
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