Old, Pale, Sick and Unpublishable

"Silence is not a natural environment for stories. They need words. Without them they grow pale, sicken and die. And then they haunt you." Vida Winter in The Thirteen Tale by Diane Setterfield.

I’ve read The Thirteenth Tale 3 times, and I’ve listened to the audio book version several times a year since I got it. Yes, I like it that much. The quote I pasted above is one of the main reasons why the novel has touched me so deeply; I believe those words, and they popped in my head as I went through my writing archive. So many words that will never be read by anyone but me, I thought.

I continued browsing through my old writing, smiling and reminiscing… my smile vanished when I found things that shouldn’t be read by anyone; not even me! They are terrible. But there are two or three of my old tales that deserve to be revised back to life. My favorite is a story I wrote to see if I could shock one of my professor, but in the end he shocked me. He loved the “darkness, the quirkiness and the depth” of my story. I didn’t argue when he said that to me, I just sat quietly and wondered if we were discussing the same piece of fiction.

I never revised the story though, and I thought I had lost it when my computer crashed last year. Actually, I did lose it, but I found a copy of my school files in a thumb drive. I've decided to revise it and share my progress. I'll post a revised second draft at the end of the month.

The rest of my oldies will continue to “grow pale, sicken and die”, but I don’t mind; many of my new ideas have evolved from my old haunting writings. I guess they haven't stayed completely dead.

What do you do with your old unpublishable writing?  

9 comments:

  1. nice, well I dont write but from an art point of view, I put it in my folder and forget about and when the time is right I find it again and see if it can be resurected or if its life is over lol

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  2. That sounds very reasonable; I too hold a folder of cadavers lol

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  3. Delete it, most of the time. If I'm not sure, I put it away and reread it the next time I stumble over it... sometimes years later. Then I will see whether it's "rescuable" or not.

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  4. I used to delete things, but now I file. I find that when I go over them, after they've been away for a while, and I can see--and sometimes correct--many of my common mistakes.

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  5. I save a hard copy so I can thumb through it at some point. Some are saved on the computer as well. I have a hard time throwing away or deleting old poems. They have a purpose still and someday I will see it
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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  6. Delete it, most of the time. If I'm not sure, I put it away and reread it the next time I stumble over it... sometimes years later. Then I will see whether it's "rescuable" or not.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I used to delete things, but now I file. I find that when I go over them, after they've been away for a while, and I can see--and sometimes correct--many of my common mistakes.

    ReplyDelete