Monday, September 21, 2015

Warning: Rough draft. Do not publish!!!


by Meredith Cole

Like every reader, I always want more books by my favorite authors. I would love, of course, to hear that they had found more books by Dorothy Sayers and Jane Austen. But at the same time, the whole Go Set A Watchman controversy (plus Jane's juvenile works) makes me wonder about this impulse. I don't really want to read the work they never finished and never intended for outside eyes. I want to read more of their polished wonderful books. And if that isn't available, then so be it.

I have plenty of ridiculous unfinished writing projects that I've never thrown away. A gothic romance I started when I was twelve with a friend (believe me, you don't want to read it). Screenplays. The first 60 pages of novels that didn't have the legs to go any further. And my nightmare would be for someone to expose it to the light of day and publish it as my work. It's enough to make me go back and burn it all.

And yet... I like to save unfinished projects to read over, if only to see how far I've come. I've turned one screenplay (and may turn more) into novels. So I will just have to leave careful instructions to my family (and lots of threatening notes in the file folders) that they are not to do publish any of it. Oh--that and a link to this blog.

9 comments:

Paul D. Marks said...

I agree, Meredith. Some things are best left alone. Generally, I don't like when they find an author's unfinished books and someone else finishes it/them and then they put them out. There are exceptions, of course. But as the saying goes, let sleeping dogs lie.

Susan C Shea said...

This is a serious issue in the fine arts too. There are a lot of mediocre paintings that the artist never intended to be shown that wind up in his or her estate and get sold because there's a little money to be made. Some artists destroy their work to make sure that can't happen.

Art Taylor said...

I'm glad you jumped into this question first. I had no clear idea about the prompt this week!
Thanks for sharing. :-)
Art

Anonymous said...

on the other hand, some of our early works have some hidden gems and we can dig the stones out and reuse them in a current work. thelma Straw in Manhattan MWA

lisaljohnljc said...
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lisaljohnljc said...
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lisaljohnljc said...

Hahaha....I have some stuff from my classes just last year that I wu'd n't want getting out!!!
But, they're good to look at to see just how far the writing has come...or, what u still need to really work on.
Either way, wouldn't throw the stuff out just yet!

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