I spent some time this weekend revisiting my story graveyard–all those stories that I wrote that were terrible, or that I started but never finished. I avoided the recent burials (which are more numerous than I would like to admit) and went to the old section…the projects from about six years ago that were put away as too schizophrenic in terms of genre to be worth finishing.
My post about self-publishing dissolving genre constraints made me curious to see if there is anything salvageable about those old stories, the ones that were too romance to appeal to science fiction or fantasy fans but too SFF to be romance.
Happily, there is. I don’t know really how much of the writing itself is worth retaining, but the ideas, the stories themselves? Oh, yes. It is especially pleasing to think of working with these characters again, because they were some of the first people I invented and as such have both the power of primacy and history behind them. That is to say, the first time you do something is often one of the most memorable times, so their inventions, as my first characters, is important to me; they have also been with me longer than any of my other characters.
The other interesting part of my visit is that I found stories I had made notes about as a teenager that were intended to be strict romance novels, which I abandoned when I decided to write SFF. At least one of them is highly viable as a story (although it also relies on an oddity of plot that I’ve seen, via review, that another author has used recently, which is annoying to feel like everyone will think I’m an imposter when in fact I had this idea…12 years ago…but that’s another post).
I don’t know when I will finish these stories. They are not on my priority list at the moment, and despite having them in my head for all these years I still don’t know what happens, exactly. For now, at least they are on my radar as plots to be worrying at in the back of my mind and options for when I cannot concentrate on something else.