Sunday, January 10, 2010

Secret

I've got a couple of short stories on the go at the moment but I can't talk about them. As soon as I tell you what I'm writing I'll lose impetus and stop.

I've lost track of the number of stories I've started. It's possible that telling someone about my work in progress isn't the problem. Maybe keeping my writing secret is like touching a rabbit's foot for luck, and what I really need to do is to get the end of the story clear in my head before I start so I don't get bogged down in the middle.

Even so, I'm not going to tell you what I'm working on till it's a lot further on than it is now. I need all the help I can get.

That's my theory today. I may change my mind next week!

Do you keep your writing secret?

24 COMMENTS:

catdownunder said...

I never talk about my works in progress - except to cats.

Sheila said...

I completely agree - somehow telling people about it defuses it and I no longer feel the compulsion to write it down.
The only exception is when I'm writing a play in collaboration with my son, in which case we discuss it constantly and often rope in my other son to read through scenes with us, since he is good at funny voices!

fairyhedgehog said...

catdownunder, what a good idea! I'm not sure Rufus would listen though.

Sheila, writing a play with your son sounds like fun!

Kate B said...

This goes to show - one man's meat is anothers poison, which is all to the good. I am the opposite. Tell, tell and tell again. And I having written that knowing I have told not told one member of my family about my Blog. Maybe I am lying?! oh life is rich! xxx

Bevie said...

I'm the same way. Post any kind of details about what I'm working on and I suddenly don't feel like working on it. You gotta be vague until it's done.

However, face-to-face I can discuss a story while I am writing it. But that would only be with one person.

Adam Heine said...

How interesting. It's no surprise to you that I don't mind talking about what I'm writing. At worst, people go, "Oh, cool." Which doesn't really affect me.

But at best, their excitement makes me more excited to finish. And more importantly, talking about what I'm writing helps me practice summarizing it, which keeps me focused (while writing the novel) and helps in writing the query and synopsis.

So yeah, I tell.

stacy said...

I read somewhere that when you talk about an unfinished project, your brain categorizes it as Done, and is then ready to move on to something else.

I think there was an article about that somewhere, but no luck in turning it up.

Bevie said...

Stacy, that may be what's going on. Thanks for the comment. It makes me feel better about a lot of projects I abandoned.

fairyhedgehog said...

Bevie, that's odd, I find it easier to chat about a work in progress face to face.

Adam, maybe it's writing about my work in progress that really hinders me. Although my Beloved doesn't get very interested in most that I write so telling him about it can be a downer at times.

stacy, I find it's particularly true when I write about what I'm writing. I do wonder though if I'm making excuses for abandoning so many stories unfinished!

Theresa Milstein said...

I'll only tell a select few about a WIP, like my children, my husband, and my former manuscript exchange partner. I usually just provide a rough summary or the beginning, depending on what I know so far.

I wouldn't provide the details on my blog, not because I'm worried about theft (who'd steal from an unpublished writer?) because it's a supportive community, but because so much can change.

What do you think about posting query letters? I've been toying with this idea.

fairyhedgehog said...

Hi Theresa, I'm a long way from querying so I'm not the best person to ask. I think when it comes to it I'll get Evil Editor to look at my query letter, then just send it off when it's good enough. I'm not sure I'd put it on my blog, but who knows what I'll do when I get that far?

Kate said...

I'll tell people after my first draft that I am working on something, but not what. As for finishing something, I'm discovering that what I really need is an external deadline.

SillyBoy said...

I usually talk about my writing, especially when I've got a nice idea bouncing around in my head.
I never finish anything, but I always put that down to laziness, lack of confidence, and a short attention span. It never occurred to me that talking about it might also be a contributing factor. But now that I've had it pointed out to me, it does make sense that once I've told someone the story, I'd feel like my work is done.

fairyhedgehog said...

Kate, that sounds like a good way of doing it. I know what you mean about deadlines.

SillyBoy, maybe I should admit to laziness, lack of confidence and a short attention span but I prefer to put the blame elsewhere!

Robin S. said...

Excellent! Glad you're writing, and maybe the short story is your thing.

I wouldn't tell us about them either - jinxing would be the pits, girl.

fairyhedgehog said...

Robin, thanks. I think the shortest forms suit me best. Maybe I'll learn to fill my writing out later.

Whirlochre said...

I've cut back on spilling the beans too much.

Keep them in the pan till they're ready to eat, I say.

And always use a suitably insulated oven glove before lifting the handle.

fairyhedgehog said...

Whirl, I noticed that you keep your writing very quiet. I didn't realise it was due to the lack of oven gloves.

Dave said...

My stories are so secret, I keep the endings even from myself.

I think it comes from doubt. The act of writing is fragile while the state having written is solid. What if it never gets finished? I know there are stories I've found ways of not even starting because they might not get finished.

Dave
Dave Wrote This

fairyhedgehog said...

Dave, I think you're right about it being fragile. That's certainly how it feels to me.

Janel said...

I keep everything hidden and filed away. For me, writing is something to be done in private. It's just me and the story. If I let someone know what I'm writing and they make even a nice critique I'll second guess myself until the story doesn't get done.

fairyhedgehog said...

Hi Janel, I love your picture. It's interesting how many of us can't share our writing until it is done.

sylvia said...

I definitely do not share. I find sitting down to write hard work and I need every motivation I can get. The chance to share the story is a *big* motivator and so I save it for as long as I can stand. Which isn't very long but generally long enough to get me through the first draft.

But I know someone else who sends me pages as she writes her scenes - her drafts are coherent enough to make sense and she seems to need to have a page seen to do the next page. My first drafts don't make sense to anyone (not even me) so I couldn't do that even if I wanted to, but it seems to work for her.

fairyhedgehog said...

Sylvia, I can't understand your friend although I find her method impressive. I like the idea of sharing the story as a motivator.

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