Finishing. I know for myself, the word can send a shiver down my spine. The fact is, seeing a project out to completion can be hard! There is a lot of work that goes into the process, and that goes for more than just stories too.
However, finishing is absolutely necessary for your writing, if for no other reason than the fact that an unfinished story is no story at all. If you turn in half a manuscript to a publishing company for consideration, what are they going to say? We don’t accept incomplete manuscripts.
That being said, here are three reasons why you must finish your stories:
How long did it take Thomas Edison to finish inventing the lightbulb? How long as it taken George R.R. Martin to finish Game of Thrones? Do you think that either of them got it perfect the first time? Of course not. But each time you can bet that they learned what was working, what wasn’t, and it made both them and their respective projects better along the way.
2. People are only interested in the full product
We saw this a little already. No one’s going to buy half of a novel, no matter how good it might be. Someone might, however, buy a full novel…regardless of how good. The point is, unfinished products don’t sell.
3. Finishing forces you to finish
This might sound weird, but having the mindset of finishing is half the battle. By going out there and actually doing it, it allows you to get over the proverbial hump, and sets a precedent for finishing even more projects.
Completion breeds more completion.
One last thing: There can be a great deal of worry that comes into submitting your work. Nebula-nominated writer Caroline M. Yoachim says, “Don’t self reject.”
This is what you have to come back to: if you don’t submit, you’re definitely not getting accepted. If you submit unfinished, you’re also not getting accepted.
But! If you do submit finished work, you’ve got a shot.
I’ll take those odds, and start finishing.