View Full Version : Do you have a pink elephant?

10-15-2006, 06:37 AM
Or white elephant, thorn in your side...whatever you want to call it. The story that sits on your computer and refuses to be finished.

I have one. At this point it's just pissing me off. It's not even something important, I don't plan to sell it, or try to publish it. It's just a short piece of fiction that found it's way onto my Wordpad and now it's stuck there on chapter four. Been there for a year.

I don't want to call this problem writers block, I have plenty of ideas for this story, unfortunately I started typing before I picked one. So there it sits. I'm lucky if I can weave together a complete sentence every couple months for this pain in my rump. But I want to finish it.

Do have your own pink elephant? Or am I the only lucky one with this problem? ;)

(I hope this is the right forum for this post!)

10-15-2006, 07:07 AM
http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/12/12_1_216.gif (http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb001_ZSYYYYYYJNUS) Iím sure many writers have unfinished works, so you are not alone. I have several ink-smeared notebooks with partial articles or stories written years ago. The fading lines prove it (JK).

They are pieces of your thoughts. Work on other writings and some day you may figure out how that story ends.

10-15-2006, 07:18 AM
I've got one of those. It's been lurking for about five years in various incarnations.

It's a story that takes place on a reality tv show, and I started it right after the first season of Survivor. Then it morphed into a sort-of SF story, and a mystery, and finally an erotic thriller -- or at least I guess that's what you'd call it, once the main character gets into a three-way...

It will probably never get finished.

10-15-2006, 08:45 AM
I have one. I created the characters for it back in 1980. But I haven't been able to form much more than a few scenes, a few chapters around them. I currently have the beginnings of something, 4 chapters, but I don't like the direction the story is going, too Tolkeinesque, too Hicks and Weise-like (even though I hadn't read anything by either when I started this project).

But I love the characters. I just can't find the right plot, the right story to put them in that isn't some cliched, hacked rework of some already done fantasy.

And it bugs me no end.

L M Ashton
10-15-2006, 06:50 PM
And here I was wondering if you were talking about my hat. ;)

Yep, I got quite a few. It's more out of laziness than anything else that prevents them from actually getting written. *sigh* Fahim'll back me up on this. *double sigh* Must. Get. Writing.

10-15-2006, 08:26 PM
Sure do. I thought about it today, but if I get tangled up with it, it'll take all afternoon and at the end I'll feel like I haven't accomplished anything. Trouble is that I have too many ideas for it. If I could just pick one and go, that would solve the problem. There's just too many choices. . . What if this, how 'bout that.

Shadow Ferret put his paw right on the problem--I don't like the direction it's taking. But which direction to go? Why won't these characters take a stand and tell me what they want to do?

10-15-2006, 08:27 PM
I have a few. I intend to finish them, just not now.

10-15-2006, 08:31 PM
an entire herd!

10-16-2006, 06:36 PM
I'd be fairly surprised if anyone who's been writing for more than a few months doesn't have a buttload, to use the technical term, of unfinished and/or unfinishable stories.

Who doesn't come up with a character or a situation that has promise but just doesn't pan out? Sometimes it's impossible to keep from starting to write it without having thought it through.

Maryn, who wrote one story nine times, never submitted it anywhere

10-16-2006, 11:59 PM
I have a "kid's fairy tale" that I wrote in high school (...not that many years ago) that's set in a fantasy world, but it's fun.

I have the basic plot mapped out in my head (and some on paper) but every time I sit down to write it, I freeze up. I'm going to try and finish it when I get my current beast (read: manuscipt) finished.

Kate Thornton
10-17-2006, 12:04 AM
I write short stories, but I do have an epic that keeps on growing, like one of those scarves in junior high when you first learn to knit. Like the scarf, it is lumpy and of many different textures, and probably also will not see any real use. I think I use it as a scratching post when my writing claws get too dull.

10-18-2006, 04:04 AM
Oh, yeah, I also have a trunk-load of these kind of stories. You know, though, after tucking them away for years, I'll pull them out and all of a sudden a lightbulb will light up and I begin combining this one with that one, and that one with this one. Doesn't always work, but it can be a lot of fun and spark some new ideas.

10-18-2006, 04:07 AM
I am with Angel...mine are legion...or an entire herd, if you will. Makes my folder look packed with important file names. (-:

10-18-2006, 04:26 AM
For the OP's pink elephant I would suggest outlining it, then filling in the gaps, so that even if you don't ever want to sell it you can at least say it's finished.

As for me, I have two scripts that are currently unfinished that I am not presently working on but hope to soon. And about 5 under one hundred pages, 5 over 200 pages, two of which were put on hold due to the fact that I am struggling over whether or not there needs to be another book previous to it, a third because I have to rewrite the first one rather extensively, and the other two just because lol.

I do plan on finishing them, but I have to clear off my plate first.

10-18-2006, 09:39 AM
For the OP's pink elephant I would suggest outlining it, then filling in the gaps, so that even if you don't ever want to sell it you can at least say it's finished.

That's the thing. I can't even decide where to go with it, so it's impossible to outline. This darn thing just drives me up the wall, but my obessive nature won't allow me to trash it. I must finish it someday. If I can get an outline it should be smooth sailing. If.

Good to know I'm not the only one who's haunted by elephants. LOL

L M Ashton
10-18-2006, 10:11 AM
You could also sit down with a few of your writing friends and get them to brainstorm with you. In person or over chat would work. :)

10-18-2006, 10:49 AM
My pink elephant is my first novel attempt which I beat on for about five years. I still haven't been able to write it all the way to the end, but this novel was my testing ground where I created the main characters and universe I've carried through the rest of my writing. At some point I will finish the story. I doubt it'll look like what I originally envisioned, but that's all right. My fantasy universe has changed a great deal from when I first started writing. My writing skills have improved a great deal, too.

10-18-2006, 06:43 PM
You could also sit down with a few of your writing friends and get them to brainstorm with you. In person or over chat would work. :)

Agreed. Find someone who is a passionate reader and listener who you can bounce your ideas off. When you hear them outloud and get to guage a person's reactions to it, that does wonders for plowing through a story.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
10-19-2006, 02:52 PM
I've got one stuck in my head. I used to have about one paragraph of it, but I hated it. When I lost it in the recent switch to a new PC, I wasn't sad. It. Must. Come. Out.

It must.

But it will only do so when my MC says it's time.

Jenan Mac
10-19-2006, 05:55 PM
I have a bunch of characters left over from things I've discarded-- I like the characters, but the stories just got silly or boring. Maybe I should put them all together and see what they do. It would be interesting, in a sort of deeply psychotic way-- a couple of them are fantasy, one is sci-fi, a couple of them are contemporary, and two are from an abortive attempt at mid-grade. Oh, and then there's the vampire date-rapist...