Saturday, March 14, 2009

How to Finish

I start a lot of stories I don't finish. I need advice on how to finish things for which I don't have looming deadlines. Respond in the comments, please.

Catching up, slowly but surely. Put myself out on a dating website by accident. (Took a grammar quiz and they made me go through all these hoops to get the score (which I knew was perfect!) and then I didn't even get a score. But I put my damn photo up anyway. Which, come to think of it, is bad timing, since right now I have no time to date.) Hmmm. But this is the only way it could happen.

Insanely jealous of some minions' impending trip to England in April.


Whirlochre said...

The only two ways of solving the problem I've found are

a) Invent a deadline and invest it with loominescence.
b) Get lost off on enthusiasm.

Bevie said...

"Insanely jealous of some minions' impending trip to England in April."

Tell me about it.

"I need advice on how to finish things for which I don't have looming deadlines."

Some people like to make their own deadlines. It's still a deadline, even if you assigned it. That doesn't work for me. Not on creative work.

For me, it comes down to a question: Why aren't you finishing it? Loss of interest? Fear of not having anything to do once you are done? No idea what the ending is?

Answering the question why you aren't finishing may help you come up with a way to finish.

You need to want to finish.

"Put myself out on a dating website by accident."

Sorry, but I found that funny.

fairyhedgehog said...

The dating website thing is very funny but only because it was an accident. My son and his fiancee met through such a website so it was good for them.

Freddie, Bevie and Whirl - I wish you were all going to be there in April. We'll lift a glass to you but it won't be the same.

freddie said...

I'd better see pics, Fairy.

freddie said...

. . . she says demandingly.

Bevie said...

Fairy, you (or someone) should post an itinery so we can pretend we're there.

We need a guest list, too.

And someone should post a video.

What else can we ask for, Freddie?

laughingwolf said...

well, i won't be there :(

g'luck with that dating thingy

as for completing wips, i allow myself a small treat after each completion...

writtenwyrdd said...

I am certainly not the person to answer that question; I struggle with it myself!

Robin S. said...

Hey freddie,

What worked for me (I didn't set it up this way, it just worked out) was that:

1- I sent the 70% of my novel I had finished to a couple of readers, and I said something like "i'll be sending the rest of the chapters soon." That was last October. 2008. I sent the remaining chapters one at a time over four months - what kept me going was knowing there were people who knew whether or not I was finishing. It wasn't just me, out there on my own. That's what finally gave me the wherewithal to push through the uncertainty and confidence holes, and get 'done'.

That, and

2 - I emailed back and forth with someone who was also trying to put it all together and finish a manuscript - and that gave me energy and camaraderie as well. Commisserating was good; made me feel I wasn't actually alone when I was alone with my story. That partnership was a wonderful thing.

These might work for you as well? Maybe?

Robin S. said...

P.S. I wish you guys were coming to England, too!!!

freddie said...

I think pics, the itinerary, and videos would be enough for me, Bev!

Those are great ideas, Robin. I'll have to try that with a short story this summer.

writtenwyrdd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
freddie said...

I thought Robin had a great suggestion - sending what you have to a reader so you feel more pressured to finish.

I think that could work. I find with the voice posts that I'm working on something I might otherwise have let gather dust.

Robin S. said...

Well, when you're ready sometime later, after the school break and your stress level deflates some, send me whatever you want. It only works if you email me ahead of time, and say 'it's coming' - then you know I know you're writing, and then, you magically do.

That's how it worked for me, anyway!

freddie said...

I shall take you up on that offer, Robin. Thank you!