Recently I created a catalogue of stories I’ve written in Excel to find out approximately how many words of fiction I have written. In one column I put the title, in the next the approximate number of words I’d written on that story, including all drafts, alternate scenes and so on. I split this by original fiction and fanfic and used formulae to show total number of words written – not far shy of half a million words.
But that’s a half a million words of unfinished stories. Half a million words of stories which, at the most, never got further than a wide margin, double-spaced print out with some notes in my handwriting in red biro. A handful of stories that topped 30,000 words and a little over a dozen more under that figure. And I had to ask: why did none of them (except Ailith’s Gift at 3,300 words long) reach completion? What was wrong with them?