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Out-there projects (1 Viewer)

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JBF

Staff member
Board Moderator
Something I've noticed in the twenty-odd years I've been poking at this writing thing.

As a general rule, most writers have a working knowledge of their own ground. This has to do with style, genre, setting, or influence - put broadly, the kind of story they tell. Something that, were you to find an unpublished manuscript with no name, you could nominally recognize as one of theirs. Most of often this is their brand...how they make their name and what keeps the checks coming in.

And then there are the odd one-offs where they do something entirely unexpected. Sometimes under another name, sometimes not, this is the work where a writer stretches their literary muscles and plants the flag where they likely have no extant fans. Results are usually mixed, though sometimes you get a gem of a story that you never in a thousand years would have expected.

Which brings us to today's questions.

Relative to your habits, what are your outliers? What project(s) do you keep in the file that'll never see the light of day - the stuff that doesn't conform and probably wouldn't sell that you can't help but keep around?
 

JJBuchholz

Senior Member
Relative to your habits, what are your outliers? What project(s) do you keep in the file that'll never see the light
of day - the stuff that doesn't conform and probably wouldn't sell that you can't help but keep around?

One project that was kept in a binder for more than 20 years before seeing the light of day again was a novel I started back in 1997
when I was in the last two years of high school. I mainly write short stories and novellas, but I had this overwhelming urge to start
writing a novel. After a year and a half and fifty pages of handwriting, I suddenly lost the idea and shelved the project. Sure, I looked
at it occasionally over the years, but never had an inclination to ever finish it.

Lo and behold, early last year I brought it out after so many years to look at, and ended up adapting it into a novella in one of the
series I had created. Still to this day, I find it hard to believe I was able to finally do something with it.

I also have a few unfinished novellas lying around on my hard drive that I stopped working on because after a while, I thought
they were crap and wouldn't go anywhere or attract any attention with publishers. I keep them around in the hope that one day,
one or two of them might get resurrected like my old novel did.

-JJB
 

bazz cargo

Retired Supervisor
Relative to your habits, what are your outliers? What project(s) do you keep in the file that'll never see the light of day - the stuff that doesn't conform and probably wouldn't sell that you can't help but keep around?
I have a junk file that I occasionally raid just to shake up what I'm doing.
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
I don't know if the dystopias I write would sell. I did write one and it received a lot of feedback. I was discouraged since the short story market dislikes dystopias.
 
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druid12000

Senior Member
I have had an allegory on the back burner for many moons that, most likely, would never sell. One day I will revisit with far more gusto than I've applied thus far.
 

Backstroke_Italics

Senior Member
I have the opposite problem. My "someday, maybe under a pseudonym" folder is full of ideas about the most digestible, marketable pap I could write to earn a living. Sometimes I try to make myself actually write those stories so I can make some money, but then I just go back to writing weird, unclassifiable fiction.
 
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