Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Writer's Trunk: a.k.a. the secret goldmine

I've started dipping into my trunk. Oh boy, I have. And it's friggin' awesome.

My trunk started the same way that everyone's trunk does. You write a story, then you look at it and you think: "Jeez, what've I done?" and you hurl that scrappy concatenation of words and phrases down the electronic toilet: a folder dedicated to stories you never want to see again.

That's just fine. Sometimes, what comes out of the end of your fingers seems as though it ought to have extruded from some other anatomical appendage. But I've realized that you can't just write a story off based on your first impressions - or, for that matter, the first impressions of slush readers/editors.

To wit: the other day, I was bored with my work-in-progress, and decided to dredge, for the sake of interest and amusement, the - how shall we say it - septic of my literary career. And I realized: no matter how bad something looks going down the drain, two years later, you might discover that you accidentally swallowed and passed gold; and, as a consequence, you will be very glad that your plumbing isn't connected directly to a city line (in this metaphor, roughly indicates the Recycle Bin).

But, indeed, it is at that moment that all metaphors cease; and you begin thinking about the prospect of making real money, just as the hard work begins.

Now go crack the lock off that trunk. Unless you're a suckier writer than I am (a feat you'll be hard-pressed to accomplish), there's something lurking in there with your name on it.

Hopefully it is not rising to the top.

-bn

1 comment:

  1. Good advice! There's always something salvageable in there -- even if it's just a single character.

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