Graveyard of Rough Drafts

 The motto is perfect, and it’s not mine. Hit your deadlines, finish your shit, try very hard not to suck. Wendig has talked over and again about the idea graveyard of first drafts. I have this idea and I like it, but recently I just haven’t been feeling into it. Rothfuss puts it succinctly enough: Sit your ass down and write; no one will write your story but you.

Yeah, well that’s what I believe myself to be facing – the rough draft graveyard. Sure, there’s this voice in my head that’s holding up signs and banners, proudly proclaiming that there is no need for me to worry because I will, one day, get to it, and when that one day comes, there will be no stopping me.

Yeah, I hear you – proud, obnoxious, voice of annoyance.

That’s a lie. It’s one I’d like to believe, but a lie all the same.

It’s not likely that I will come back to it. I know this because I keep a writing folder with all of the things that I’ve started – all of these “almost ideas” or “half-way nourished ideas” just sitting there. I wonder if anything would change within me if I renamed the folder ‘Graveyard’. There’s Mr. Proud again, telling me that it’s not a graveyard, because that word suggests that there is no bringing them back to life. This is true, and I’ve consulted with Mr. Honesty and we’ve come to an agreement. Once they go in there, they’re not coming out.

The realization for me is more about honesty. I mean, when I commit to something, I need to commit to it.

But Wendig has also said one other thing when talking about the Graveyard. That is – if you absolutely must bury something, at least use some of the parts. Use the ideas or concepts or scenes or something within a new work. Use all that energy. Don’t just put in all that energy and not get something out of it.

So that’s where I am now.

I’ve been playing quite a bit of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag of late and I have this idea of a pirate story…and it may just include some pieces from the graveyard.




** Thanks to for the image. 

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