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Totally hypothetical. 

Say you knew someone who had a book that wasn't finished.  Say she or he started it as young person and still had the original.  And the SAME TYPEWRITER.

And they're just sitting on it...

Knowing the ending but not putting it down on paper.

???

That's messed up.
 

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It's actually very common. The majority of people that start a book never finish it. Plenty of writers have abandoned stories at different points. I went through a phase where I'd get 100 pages in, decide it was the worst thing ever written, and then move on to a shiny new story. I didn't realize at the time that it's normal to doubt yourself along the way and that you need to keep going and finish regardless.
 

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Depends on what your definition of "hoard" is. I always wait a few months after finishing a manuscript before I edit, then review, and then some critique before the final revision. But as far as completing 50%< of a novel and not finishing it? No.
 

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I've abandoned manuscripts at various points in the process and will never come back to them simply because I realized they weren't working. Sure, I could revise but some manuscripts are broken enough that it wouldn't be worth it. I'd rather just write something new.

I don't consider that hoarding. I consider that a better use of my resources and not wanting to have substandard work out there.
 

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Amanda Brice said:
I've abandoned manuscripts at various points in the process and will never come back to them simply because I realized they weren't working. Sure, I could revise but some manuscripts are broken enough that it wouldn't be worth it. I'd rather just write something new.

I don't consider that hoarding. I consider that a better use of my resources and not wanting to have substandard work out there.
Yup. Me too. My first novel got trunked at 60,000 words and I have no regrets. I've got better stories I can expend my time and energy on.

Rue
 

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My first novel (which I did complete) was trunked and will never, ever see the light of day. My second novel - completed during my first NaNoWriMo challenge - was also trunked, but that one may one day be dragged back out if I ever decide to branch out into writing contemporaries.
 

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vrabinec said:
It's called "trunking" a novel, as in "stick in in a trunk and never let anyone see it." I did it with my first one.
Thank you! Take my advice and check the chains around the trunk often. A determined manuscript can work them loose over time.
 

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Jan Strnad said:
Thank you! Take my advice and check the chains around the trunk often. A determined manuscript can work them loose over time.
It's funny you said that. The last couple times one of these threads popped up, I got to thinking about that first novel. I MIGHT pull it out some day. Not as a novel, but as a screenplay. It being my first attempt, it was the typical Hollywood blockbuster influenced sprint, complete with techno gadgets, damsel in distress, and a world that needs to be saved. I thought it was too cliche when I finished it, but maybe I can...yeah, those chains are a little looser than they used to be. ;D
 

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I once got to the very end of a novella but couldn't think of a way to close it. Eventually I rewrote the whole thing as a novel and it worked much better.

In the past I also wrote more than a book and a half into a series, but the second book was starting to fall apart on me and I realized the first had too many holes to be publishable. I'm taking the first steps finally toward rewriting that first book.

Sometimes it's more about saying a story isn't good enough for now, but it can be resurrected in the future when I'm a better writer. No matter what else, I'm better than I was fifteen years ago.
 

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Lummox JR said:
No matter what else, I'm better than I was fifteen years ago.
Right, which is why I feel it's important not to get so worked up about coming back to the stories you trunked years and years ago. Sometimes it's best to just move on.

Yes, I understand that we all have to rewrite and the whole "give yourself permission to write crap" mentality. That's not what I'm talking about. There are some books that thrive with revision and there are some books that should just be allowed to slink into a corner and never be heard from again.

I consider the book I trunked to be a learning book. It served its purpose, and that was for me to practice. I have recycled parts of it for use in other books, but the book itself will never be published. Ever.
 

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Amanda Brice said:
I consider the book I trunked to be a learning book. It served its purpose, and that was for me to practice. I have recycled parts of it for use in other books, but the book itself will never be published. Ever.
One of the things I've put aside will only ever get a full rewrite from the ground up, keeping the basic premise. The execution is simply bad.

The other one is fine, I just lost momentum doing stupid things. That will get picked back up one day.
 

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Yeah. In fact, I have my Doctorate in book hoarding.

It takes a lot of stillborn shorts, novellas, novels and screenplays to get to your "first million words of crap". Just a year ago, when we packed stuff in storage prior to our recent military move, I threw away a couple paper ream boxes of stacks, envelopes and bindings of drafts, ones I've been dragging away and keeping for...a real long time. Several thousand pages worth, judging by how thick a standard ream is. That output can be dated back to pre-college, college and 2-3 years post when I printed everything, bound it and revised with red felt tip. Dunno why, it made me feel "writerly" I guess.

And there were roughly three dozen 3.5 floppy's, each story had it's own, which became ineffective three computers ago. But they weren't really used at the time of that specific computer upgrade because all the floppy's had been condensed on a single ZIP with numerous backups. Am I dating myself yet?

I finally cut the cord to those piles of paper and duty discs. I always felt I had to keep them (the hard copy's anyway) because of all the work that went into them. All of that dusty stuff finally went though. Mostly because I was sick of looking at them after all this time, was even more sick of lugging them around, but mostly because what used to fill up a stack of disks now fits on a single thumb drive. It has for awhile actually. Every once in awhile I'll go back and review my sci-fi shoot-em-ups from my 20's and my sophmorish attempts at techno-thrillers in my 30's. Ideas that seemed brilliant, cool, sexy and original at the time of conception but were, after a cooling off period, cringe worthy and nothing more. There are dozens of works that I couldn't move any further than a rough draft or after some hard revising realized I often had nothing resembling a real story; just characters, scenes and explosions.

Seems kind of disheartening, all those words and nothing decent to show for it. But I don't feel that bad. Was reading Mr. Howey's blog the other night and apparently, he did the exact same thing for 20 years before writing Wool. So maybe I'm finally getting somewhere.

And now it's time for your flashback:

QUICK...who remember's (or ever owned) one of these:

 
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