To Trunk Or Not To Trunk

Reasons to trunk a story:

  1. If it were published you wouldn’t tell anyone and you’d hope no one would read it.
  2. You know it’s not together yet. Parts might be working, but parts aren’t. It will simply accrue rejections and thereby limit its markets for when you do figure it out in the future. Put these on the trunk’s top shelf. Months from now you might know exactly what needs to be done with them.
  3. You’ve seen hundreds of stories exactly like it in the slush and yours isn’t any better.
  4. Better a story go in the trunk then e-pub it and guilt all your friends into buying it.

With the caveat:


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6 responses to “To Trunk Or Not To Trunk”

  1. Richard Bowes says :

    For what it’s worth, I never really put anything totally in the trunk. That is I never forget a piece of writing.

    I began writing genre stories in 1989. The first one didn’t sell. Almost 20 years later I cannibalized it and used a character and board game creation- the best things in the story – in another story which sold.


  2. asakiyume says :

    LOL, no. 1 made me laugh. Sometimes you have stories you like, but they’re guilty pleasures, and so you don’t want your friends reading them.

    No. 3 though: so true. Or in my case, since I’m not a slush reader anywhere, if I’ve read a hundred stories like what I’ve written–and several that do it MUCH BETTER.

    • Justin says :

      Yeah. Not every story needs to see the light of day. Especially all those written by dudes after their GF’s dumped them…

      With #3, I think there are only so many slots for a certain type of story and once it’s filled, there’s a lot of homeless stories floating around. Agree too about the MUCH BETTER.

  3. Richard Bowes says :

    I try to be modest and all but I almost never have the feeling that anyone is writing my kind of stories better than I am, But I’m a writer and not a great reader.

    • Justin says :

      You’ve never been infected with the writing workshop virus that makes people believe stories can be written by following the equivalent of certain recipes.

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