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Good Riddance

September 26, 2012

In my previous post I wrote that writing for me has never gotten easier. That’s not to say it hasn’t gotten better, at least in my mind.

Last week I went through a box of short-stories, novel drafts and screenplays I had written long ago, some dating to the late 1980s. Some of the stuff actually horrified me; I had to sit down lest I succumbed to an attack of the vapors.

Poorly developed characters, weak plots, insipid dialogue–they were all there. Funny thing, when I wrote them I thought they were fantastic. In my defense, as weak as it is, everything back then was written after spending an entire day writing at whatever newspaper or magazine I was working for at the time. My routine back then was to come home from work, open a bottle or two of amber fluid (that’s beer, for whoever doesn’t know the term) sit down and write for however long I could. Having written all day long, I found that I had trouble remembering to put some verbs in the sentences. That was due either to mental fatigue or too much amber fluid.

I saved what I could from that box of long-ago work and fulfilled my duty as an ecologically responsible citizen by tossing the rest into a recycling bin. A friend advised me to shred the stuff first because somebody might find the discarded stories and steal the plots and characters and write a best-selling novel.

Good for them, I said. Their instincts as a thief to turn stolen goods into a profit deserves whatever they could get from the crap.

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From → Writing Tips

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