Monday, December 14, 2009

Quantity vs Quality

So, yeah. What Mark Twain said.

The only problem with that is the quality vs quantity conversation. You write a book. Or two. Three. Twelve. However many you need to. Are every single one of those books going to be up to par?

Honestly, probably not. Personally, I know mine aren't. As I've been letting a couple of mss sit for some time before undergoing another round of revisions, I've gone back to read some of the older stuff I've written. Oh my holy ... it is almost unbelievable how much my writing sucked. Of course, I've also discounted these previous works to the realm of my quantity pile. My quality pile is far smaller and much better and was written more recently.

But as each new wip's writing is significantly improved and I fall in love with a whole new cast of characters, I wonder when you determine a project may be destined (at least for the moment) for the quantity pile and not the quality short list.

So as I seriously consider putting aside one of my wips, I wonder, what's caused you to shelve a project? Is it still sitting up there, or have you since dusted it off and started the rework?

7 comments:

Dominique said...

I have one WIP shelved just because I let it get away from me. I could pick it back up again, because it's actually not bad, but I'm in the middle of other things at the moment.

L.T. Elliot said...

I've shelved a few but that's because I've outgrown them or the plot was weak. However, I sometimes go back and cannabalize them into new stories. It's amazing what a well loved character can do with the right plot.

WindyA said...

Dominique - I get you there. Hopefully the other things you're in the middle of work out!

LT - Cannabalism, love it! Yes, I have characters who show up again and again. I can't let go because I love them too much.

Terresa said...

Some of my WIPs I've set aside b/c I feel I need further inspiration to follow the story & characters through to the end. Or it's fear. Or time crunches that force me to focus on only essays, short stories & poetry for a bit -- my current state -- b/c my 4 young children need, no, demand attention, too. And then there's sleep, my husband and blogging to catch up on...

PS: I stopped by via L.T.'s shout out. Glad I did.

Jessica said...

So far I've shelved my first wip which was never finished. Basically because it had no plot and was a morass of genres. LOL!

I'm not sure what would get me to shelve a manuscript. Even if it didn't sell first, it might sell later. :-)

Good luck with yours! :-)

Stephanie L. McGee said...

My current WiP got shelved for a good couple of years. Then I hit on an idea to save it and I haven't looked back. I'm now almost finished with the first full draft. So very happy. I've got several other WiPs that are in various stages of completion but none that I'm yet considering shelving.

Suzette Saxton said...

I periodically shelve all my WIPS, then pull them out months or even years later to apply what I've learned in the mean time. :)