Sexy WIPsPosted: 2013/08/18
I’ve added a new category to this blog: Sexy WIPs. What are Sexy WIPs? You may already have seen a few of them. They’re my own unpublished (some might say unpublishable) writing. I want to share them with you, free of charge.
As a writer, you’re always making sacrifices. Jokes, concepts, characters, and entire story arcs get thrown away in early drafts. Some stories start out promising, but never get anywhere. And sometimes, the revision process is nothing more than a gentler, more protracted, but no less exhausting way to beat a dead horse. Killing the horse might have meant something once, but a horse (or any other four-legged work animal) can only die once, and the more you beat it, the dustier and deader it gets.
There are two unpopular ideas about writing I have always clung to:
- Every creative work that anybody has ever written has an audience, somewhere. Some writing is better than others, and every publisher of writing has their own criteria by which they separate the multitudinous chaff from the rare germ. This means that the majority of writing will never be formally published. It does not mean that the stuff that does get published is necessarily better than the stuff that doesn’t; it’s just been deemed, by the curators of such things, to be likely to appeal to the widest possible audience of readers. I have a near endless back catalog of writing that, for whatever reason, is unlikely ever to be published in a venue in which I would be happy to see my writing appear. I hope you will enjoy reading it, regardless.
- Revision does not always improve a work. Revision is important in academic writing because presenting a logical, structured and persuasive argument is similar to building a watch. It requires a great deal of fine tuning and clearing away of the tiniest speck of grit. Creative writing, however, does not always come from a place of logic. Creative writing is a fever, and there’s a great deal of energy inherent in its first creation. It is sloppy energy, like a spray of colorful vomit across a pattern of linoleum tiles. You can go back in and mop it up, presenting to the reader a nice clean grid of pea-green linoleum, but you risk mopping up the same thing that made it so contagious in the first place. Inspiration is not a thesis.
Sexy WIPs are the intersection of those two beliefs. They are writing (usually fiction) that I believe are worth reading, even if I don’t think they are worth publishing. They are ephemeral, glimpses of ideas I chose not or was unable to pursue to their conclusion. Some are things I am working on today. Others date all the way back to high school, when I was full of promise and not yet bored inside my own skull. I think that there are people in the world aside from me who will enjoy them, and I sincerely hope that those people find their way to this cozy little corner of the internet.
Now excuse me while I go hork up another one.