This weekend I was really tired and found it hard to do any of the useful, grown-up things I had planned to do. It was my first week at work after five weeks’ sick leave (I’m fine by the way, I just had a brutal meeting with the metaphorical wall), so perhaps it wasn’t so strange. But – I actually managed to procrastinate by doing other useful stuff!
The first thing was to look through my books and write down which series I am reading and what books I haven’t yet bought/read. Fun fact about me: When I’m stressed, there are two things I have an urgent need to do: Finish things, and get rid of things. I have a stack of not-all-that-awesome books I’m getting rid of, and now I’m trying to finish a few of the series I’m reading. There’s a lot of satisfaction in that, I think, and there are some series I’m reading where there won’t be any more books. While I like series with many books, most of them go stale at some point, so I like series that actually end properly.
The other thing I did was to go through my stories. All of them. And if you count the snippets and multiple versions and iterations and idea files and so on, there are a lot to go through. Now I have a word file with every single story that’s not utterly hopeless, sorted by story type (novels, novellas or short stories/short story series). I also have several stories that are the combination of several ideas/drafts (where the discarded stories go to be reincarnated, apparently), so I have listed all the different stories they consist of. One of them is a Frankenstein’s monster of a story, consisting of more than eight different (but related) ideas, so I might split it back up.
Next on the agenda is entering them all into Excel (so that I can sort them better and do fancy automatic colour coding) and going through the list, which is what I’m currently doing. Which ideas are worth pursuing, and which should be archived as a lost cause? Some should perhaps remain only as part of the worldbuilding. Some stories are probably not worth writing at all, even if writing the drafts was enjoyable. The Frankenstein’s monster of a story will probably be replotted into something completely different. Before the day is over it might already have become a series instead…
Finally I will devise some kind of system so that I can easily see which stories I am working on and which ones are discarded, and which is the current draft/old drafts in those folders. Not quite sure how I’ll do it, but my plans for tonight were cancelled and I have no more exams to study for, so I guess I need something to do 😉 In any case the goal is to change my story folders from complete and utter chaos into something I can actually find my way in. If anyone knows of a good way to do this, I’m all ears!
Look! I finished the overview:
49 stories – that’s quite a lot. But I guess some of them will get discarded along the way, and most of them are fairly short anyway. It’s nice having an overview like this, though. It contains the current status, the type of story, brief summary (where I remembered it) and so on. Not sure if I’ll look at it enough to justify the work, but at least I’ve made it 😉