I’ve been warned before, by professional voices I trust: never, ever send anything to the trunk — the graveyard where stories go to die.
It’s unprofessional. It doesn’t give your story a chance. You never know whether or not the story might sell, even if it’s been rejected 10 or 20 or 50 times. The next market might be the one. Keep sending the story out.
But what do you do with a story which even you have lost faith in?
Lately I’ve been looking at a lot of my stories which have made the rounds, and which are teetering on the edge of being trunked. All of them have problems. None of these problems can be addressed without a complete re-draft, wherein I tear the story down to basic components and build it back up again from scratch. I’m not the same writer I was even 12 months ago. I can see what’s wrong, and I know how much work it will take to fix things.
So I’m in a bit of a conundrum, because the same pros whose opinions I trust, also advise against endlessly reinventing the wheel. Avoid excessive editing and re-writes. Move forward. Dig new holes in fresh soil.
Today I pulled three of my older irons out of the fire. One of them I was able to send to a new market because I think it might have a shot. The other two… Eh. They’ve got issues even I’m not willing to ignore anymore. I think I pretty much have to trunk them — at least until I get the time and inspiration to pull them back out, burn them down to their bones, and begin whole new stories using their ashes.
So, my Race score has dropped to 15.
Which is still pretty good. Just not at 20 yet, which is my goal for short production, prior to launching into a novel project.
There is also the matter of my being gone for two weeks and two days with the Army next month. Can I crank out 5 new stories in 3 weeks? It would be great to head off for WOCS Phase III with 20 points.
Yeah, yeah, I like this goal. Better get cracking!