“Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes, work never begun.” –Christina G. Rossetti
I have come up with ideas that I think will make brilliant short stories or books only to realize after the few sentences, paragraphs or pages that the plot simply won't work. It dies a natural death and I move on to something else. I recently read an article in the Independent, Greatest stories never told: Ten famous writers reveal their works that never made it to print. I learned that unfinished, dead-end projects were not an uncommon problem.
According to the article, “Herman Melville, finding he was making no headway with a novel called Agatha, passed the manuscript to Nathaniel Hawthorne, who tried his best with it before sending it back – and the two authors passed it back and forth, issuelessly, for years.”
Will Self talks of a project he worked on about four average people that gained superpowers but then said the TV show Heroes came out and he figured this undertaking was now pointless. The idea had been done. Obviously, timing can mean everything to the success or failure of a book.
According to Amanda Craig, her never published space opera was, “A mixture of magniloquent philosophy and stilted pornography, its climax involved a lot of intergalactic explosions and a hermaphroditic elopement. Really, I just needed to live longer, calm down and get out more.”
Joseph Connolly said of his first book that he never wrote, “After a few awful stabs at weather and lambing and reddlemen and strong, independent women in long rustly dresses, I had to admit that my grasp of 19th-century rural life and romance was less than total.”
Have you started something that you couldn’t finish? For you readers out there, have you read anything you thought should have been stuck in a drawer somewhere and never published?
Thanks for stopping by.
Tags: Rossetti, Melville, Hawthorne, Will Self, Heroes, Amanda Craig, Connolly,