When I was around 17ish I wrote 25,000 words of a Harlequin novel. I just found it the other day in my old files and started reading it. Hilariously it wasn’t that bad. My main problem though, was the sex. I got to the sex part, they got it on and then I got stuck. I didn’t have a plan beyond the coitus, which was probably pretty silly. There was still the conflict and the dramatic make-up that needed to happen. Instead there my protagonist sits, with a rose in her hands and new love in her heart, awaiting her climax and resolution. It’s kind of tragic really, the unfinished tale of her love with the dashing prince (seriously I think the dude’s actually a prince).
It turns out I’m not really into writing romance novels, I just thought I would try it to see if I could. Although it may not be my passion, it still got me to thinking about all the unfinished business I have lying around. Stories without endings, or unedited tales waiting patiently in the form of 1’s and 0’s. Just sitting on my hard drive. I was spurred to explore my unfinished pile and I found a whole lot of it. Tales of my lustful and daring adventures around the world, stories of magic and immortals and witches. Not all of it is gold, but some of it certainly is interesting and worth recollecting and exploring.
What concepts did I find fascinating in my teenage years? What themes are reoccurring? What can I harvest? What is worth resurrecting?
I encourage all writers, when you have a moment, to reflect. Go back, don’t be embarrassed (hey if I can appreciate my Harlequin you can at least look at your unfinished business). In reflection perhaps we can have the opportunity to recall things that were once important (and maybe still are), we can remember the days when we were at our most earnest (for good or ill), we can maybe mine some gold and if nothing else we can have a good laugh and feel good about the fact that we have grown in style and substance. Because we have grown…haven’t we?
Tell me about your unfinished business!