Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBT+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

When “Abandoned” Projects Rise Again

The first time I woke up this morning, somewhere, oh, about two or two thirty, I thought, briefly, of one of my “abandoned” stories. The thought was fleeting, more of an impression than any fully-formed words, and it faded from my mind rather quickly as I tried to get back to sleep.

I haven’t touched this world in any substantial way in recent memory. Most recent writing I’ve done on it is back in early-mid November of 2010, when I started a full rewrite of a partial manuscript I got stalled on. I have a teeny bit of worldbuilding for this world, and a couple of vague concepts for other stories set in the same world. It needs a lot of work to make go, though I do know the basics of the very first book, which is that one with the partial rewrite. It’s been so long since I looked at any of these projects that when I looked at the first book of Married to the Moons today, I had to download a program called Open Freely in order to open the original manuscript I started the rewrite from so I could read the entire thing.

As always when I get the urge to look at old writing and the worlds its written on, I made a search for all the info I could find on it. Luckily, it’s all in one place on my thumb drive. I was also able to open the two worldbuilding files I have on this world—one of which includes the deities and what parts of magic they represent. I read these two files as well.

And now the project won’t shut up. Married to the Moons was the very last fantasy projects I worked on before getting deeply into the gay romances. Some parts of it—even from the old, original draft I was rewriting from—have always been extremely clear to me, even before I spent this afternoon and early evening reading both versions of it.

I know I stopped writing on the original version of MttM because I suddenly realized that it was a longer story than I’d planned. The original draft has over 47k on it, and I realized where it is now storywise is actually the end of the first book of a full trilogy, and that I left out a whole lot of backstory and building-up-of-reasons-why that are necessary to make the whole premise a reasonable one. I basically started off with the correct opening, then skipped over a wealth of important scenes which explain how my two MCs end up trekking through the rain forest together when they can barely stand each other throughout most of the trip. The rewrite starts off with the same opening (though much better written, if I do say so myself), and provides all this background I skipped over in the original 47k manuscript.

I should be honest here. With regards to my fantasy and science-fantasy works, I never ever really completely give up on them. I always expect—and want—to come back to them at some point, because I love them all, and I desperately want to see their stories all written.

It felt good to read what I have of both versions of MttM. I would just like it to go back to the recesses of my creative mind and allow me to concentrate on other things right now. Whether it’ll listen is another matter.

1 Comment

  1. I’m the same way about never abandoning a project completely. There are some I’ll probably never finish because I’ve moved away from their genres, but occasionally one of them will surface in my mind for a day or two anyway.

    As far as still valid WIPs are concerned, I’ll sometimes leave one resting for a year or more. And like you, when I go back to one of them with serious intent I always enjoy seeing how my writing has developed in the meantime.

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