the mutt

On Closure

Posted in General, Writing by grx20 on September 24, 2008

There are many half-started stories in my computer. Some are more than six years old. It’s not that I never found time or desire to complete them. It’s not even that I’ve lost the thread. The fact is, I’ve changed, and I can’t write the same story twice. I don’t feel the same emotion as I did when I started the story.

Sometimes I persevere. When I read the new pages, however, I wish I hadn’t. It doesn’t sound right. And I know I’m being dishonest, desperately trying to get back to a state of mind I know I can not.

The problem is, the half-finished stuff, is good stuff. It’s got some really powerful bits, some well-written parts, the potential for a lot of interesting things to happen. And it’s just sitting there.

I tried taking the good parts and weaving it into a new story. But one can’t really stitch a new garment with old cloth patches.

So where does the folder of forsaken stories leave me?

With a resolution.
No more half starts. If I’m starting it, I’m ending it.
If I don’t complete it. Then I delete it.

And if it hurts, that’s the price I pay for not completing it.

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One Response

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  1. MSR-5701 said, on September 24, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    themutt saar [(digression) would this be the rk mutt or the sankara mutt? or, from a zoological perspective, a reference to tiger maadu perhaps? (/digression)],

    my suggestion (for whatever it’s worth) is not to be so hard on yourself in the matter of the unfinished fragments.

    it’s a fact – well known to you, i am sure – that no literary work worth the name flows out of the author’s pen smoothly at 80 [k]mph from dedication to conclusion/epilogue.

    there is a lot of what we used to call ‘rough work’ in school that is involved in any creative endeavour, not unlike musicians/singers practising their scales shortly before the curtain goes up, or a painter experimenting with various combinations of colour before embarking upon a masterpiece.

    what i am driving at is: these incomplete scraps, though perhaps a sorry spectacle in themselves, would have [almost] always served some useful (and not easily traceable) purpose in the sense of kick-starting something in your brain, a ‘buzz’ as it were that might well have assisted you somewhere down the line – after all, the brain is not like a computer’s garbage can app that can be expunged in a jiff.

    another – and perhaps even more tenuous – argument for keeping the darned things is that, for good or ill, they provide a ‘snapshot’ of your creative mind at some point in time, and as such are valuable as keepsakes, provided of course there is some merit to them (which i think is the case in your instance).

    and finally, when (or perhaps ‘if’?) you attain immense fame as an author, these uncut gems can serve as milestones that mark your path to greatness. this last point is of course the most tenuous argument of all, and would be worth its existence if it succeeded in wringing a wry half-smile from the reader’s lips at best.

    and that’s the way i see it.

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