To Finish or to Continue!

Tuesday 20th January 2015

To Finish or to Continue. Another trivial piece.


Yesterday I commented on a blog, no ordinary blog, but Jo’s blog of –  a fabulous blog by the way and if you don’t know of it or her I suggest you pop over and have a look. Sorry, I go astray I am not really trying to publicize another blog, by the way she doesn’t really need me praising her anyway. But it was her reply that inspired this trivial piece.


Since Christmas I have been dealing with personal stuff, as I said on Jo’s post, but also been trying to finish a story. The story I refer to is the one I did for last November’s ‘NANOWRIMO’ Winner November 2014 Cert and many of you might know I passed the 50000 words to complete the task, for the fourth time. {Brag, brag blowing my own trumpet again} well it is great to boast about something once in a while, innit? especially if we are very proud of what we have done. Don’t we? I first did ‘Nano’ in 2011 and the story I did for this is still unfinished, I actually started it when I was a teenager, way before computers, it was all handwritten and after so many years it became very hard to decipher with all my notes on my pages. However the story went well, I wrote well over 65,000 words, and  completed the task. I did continue for a while after Nano’, but it is still a long way off from finishing. One day, one day.

The current story I am working on has been progressing well although slowly and I must admit the story I like very much. Its characters are all named after my brothers and sister and other characters are named after their friends and my friends, all starting from my teenage years and upwards. All names slightly altered. But I do have a problem, a nice problem but a problem all the same. Back in November I had thought I would finish it, I was after all doing a continuation and my total word count had reached over 80,000 and I could see the end. However the more I wrote the more ideas came into my mind and I kept adding more to it. More characters being brought in, more lines, more evil and long plan battle ideas, I do not know if this adds to the story in a good way or bad but it is my imagination. Anyway I am nearing to finishing and then I get the problem, what do I do after? 

Like my two other completed stories – My Dream 2012(love story) and The Parchment 2013(fantasy adventure) they remain on my hard drive.The Knight of the Oak 2011(subtitle King of the Wood after a poem of mine) my original attempt still to be finished, my characters are still waiting for me in the village of the dead. I think my stories are good, the story lines are original and mostly based around the New Forest, my only feeling is that the writing itself is not that good. I read many blogs and the standard of writing is very high, while mine I think is not to the standard required. Even after editing.

So my bottom line is to finish it and then continue?


Gerry A/C 2015©


39 thoughts on “To Finish or to Continue!

  1. Saw you had commented and Jo’s and was pleased to see you there. I double checked your blogs, but, nowt until today.

    I read a couple of Nano stories this year where the bloggers posted up a chapter most days, really enjoyed their stories. Both actually finished them post Nano.

    I can’t asnwer what you do with your stories, but why not finish and continue. The more you write the better you get.

    There is some good writing on blogs, some mediocre writing and some sheer garbage. But blogs, unless specifically so, aren’t fiction. Are your worries about writing style, or spelling/grammar/errors/punctuation etc? Or both!

    My offer stands as ever, shoot me a few pages and I’ll give you a view.

    Hope you are well, and that this was a far better Christmas for you.

    1. Hello K, yes my Xmas was far better and more enjoyable than last… I hope yours was good and wish you a great new year…I do feel I write a lot better than before blog days. I have read many blogs and listened to people like yourself but it is like when I first started playing guitar in bands, I was good with them and I was different and confident person but when solo playing I lacked the same confidence until I did it a few times. I thank you again for your offer, which I have not forgotten by the way, When I feel good about things I might just take you up, but you know what scares me most is bad criticism… Should finish it soon.. thanks again K.

  2. I think you keep going and I would add that it’s easy to criticise yourself – seek some guidance from some of the other writers who have walked the same path – they will have good advice 🙂 Hope everything goes well Gerry 🙂

    1. I have been good at criticising myself as you say,,it is words from people like yourself that I take heed to and hopefully learn from..So Martin is with great thanks and welcome always I listen

  3. Nice to see you Gerry. Have you ever considered joining a writing group? I did last August and I find it very supportive, there are lovely people with a varying levels of experience and who give straight talking feedback. Maybe there is one local to you?

    1. That is a great idea Gilly, I will look into and see if one is local to me. My fear is taking criticism, bad, even it meant well.. Thanks for the idea and I will definitely check out, I believe my local library holds something. welcome…

  4. Gerry, the only way to really know if your story “has legs” or publishing potential (if that’s what you want to do with it) is to show it to other people who will give you an honest, constructive critique. Beta readers are a great place to begin. They are usually people you respect and trust who will do the read and critique for free. The real test is handing the story over to a seasoned editor or story coach. That costs money (believe me, I know). It’s worth it if you want to go all the way to publishing, Actually, it’s necessary. But start with beta readers.

    I don’t know if I’m up to reading a whole bonk-length manuscript, but give me the first ten pages and I will critique it for you to give you an idea. I never criticize anything without suggesting a possible solution! My email is

    1. The idea of criticism, especially hard or bad is very scary for me, even if well intended. I am not too comfortable but I know I will have to accept in some way or another. I know your way Lorna as you did it on one of my shorts a long while back… but I thank you for your offer and might well take you up on it shortly when I settle from all my personal stuff and finish the on going story…I might offer chapters on my blog, it might even be easier to edit it a little as I do so……..welcome and thank you Lorna…

  5. It’s hard for someone else to help you decide exactly what to do because we don’t know what your own gut is feeling. You need to follow your gut (actually it’s more polite to say “heart” but really it’s the same thing.)

    I’ll tell you something that I always tell the students in my creative writing classes. If you love to write — I mean really LOVE to write, then you have a gift for writing. It’s part of the way our Creator works to help us become what He wants us to be. When He puts gifts and abilities/talents into us, He wants us to use them for good. So He also creates a love for using them in us. If you did not have a genuine gift for writing, you would not love it. You might write when necessary and you might not hate it, but you would not LOVE doing it.

    You are a writer, Gerry. And real writers do not ever quit writing.

    Nor do they always finish everything they start. They finish what their heart/gut has a passion for, and they let the rest go. There will be plenty of things that you have a passion for writing, so don’t sweat over anything that doesn’t appeal to you any longer. Just because you start writing a piece doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be finished. All the writing you’ve done on it has been great practice and discipline and will further your writing in one way or another.

    Also, as I’ve said before, many great authors — people with tremendous story-telling ability — are not necessarily the best writers grammatically. They have to hire an editor to polish up the manuscript once the story is told. So don’t let a problem with that aspect of your writing keep you from creating.

    Don’t know if any of this helps, but for what it’s worth, it’s my best advice.

    1. P. S. It’s also perfectly fine to work on two or three stories at the same time. I do it all the time. You don’t have to choose one over another. If you get up in the morning with an idea rolling through your head for one story, sit down and write it out. If by afternoon, you have something pop into your mind for a totally different story, jump in and write it out before you lose it. You might conceivable hop back and forth between two totally different stories every day until one of them is done. Of course, by that time, you’ll probably have an idea for a third piece, and you’ll be back in the same position.

      I will add one more thing. I know when I was having a hard time finishing one of my novels, forcing myself to go onto my blog and promise to post the novel as one chapter a day until it was done really helped me push myself, and I was very happy with the results. I missed only two days, and I completely finished the novel in record time.

      And it doesn’t hurt anything to post it for free. Quite honestly, most of the people who read our blogs are not going to be the ones who buy our books anyway. It doesn’t work that way. So you could post the story one chapter at a time and get great feedback, and then when you’re ready to publish it, you can always take it off the blog.

      1. I am not very good at running back and forth on different stories.. I am easily confused and start mixing the story lines. not good..I might try posting a chapter regularly, this way it could be easier to edit as well, small chunks at a time..I realise and take on board your piece on the end,, bloggers are not the buyers, maybe one or two might…I keep my fingers crossed and take note of all your fabulous advice.. I might well copy and paste all your suggestions with others for easy access…thank you Sandra…

      2. Hey, Gerry, I just received an e-mail from another creative writing teacher. I stay in touch with her through her website, and she e-mails updates, encouraging articles, etc. from time to time. This article is about continuing work on a project until it is finished even when you’ve lost some of the inspiration. If you’d like to read it, I’ll forward it to you if you’ll give me your e-mail. It might be an encouragement to you while you’re trying to decide what to do with your projects.

      3. You’re very welcome. It may not help much, but then again, it might be just what you need. I thought since we had been discussing that kind of thing, and there it was in my e-mail this evening, I should at least pass it on to you, I’ll send it now.

      4. Also, I should tell you that this will come from a slightly different e-mail address. This address is one I keep just for things connected with my writing students and my writing classes. So if you don’t get it in a short time, you might check your spam catcher, just in case. It will come from

    2. You know Sandra my original story, which I started back in my teenage years, had always been in my head, and I got it going so well, deciphered my notes and got it so far to my satisfaction, then started other projects and finished them and many shorts,, it is sad for me anyway to still have my original still half done.. I do intend to try and move it along after my present project.. The story is original and developed so well I was or am very pleased with it and it characters.. I feel more comfortable at sharing poetry.. your advice Sandra is always welcome and love to read them and will and always take it on board, your words always help thank you and welcome Sandra….

  6. Keep editing. That’s what I do. That’s what I was taught to do. Proof read it to bits, and pull each sentence apart until I choose words and syntax that may my writing flow comfortably.

    1. Great suggestion Mof’ and have started a little bit on another story.. Hopefully when this current one is finished I will print off on to a hard copy and give it to my sister and ask for feed back.. and a couple of blogging friends here have offered a little help Welcome always

  7. Hi my sweet brother! I say follow your heart. If this is what’s on your heart the most and in your head, then go for it. No matter what, you must always follow your heart. Keep the pace, my friend. You can do it. I’m conflicted at the moment. I’m finally ready to dedicate myself to this upcoming Camp Nano and have the latest 2 books I had been working on last year and haven’t worked on much since to tell you the truth. I still think about them both equally (2 books polar opposite of each other) so I may be insane and work on them both during April. Ugh! Whichever voices are speaking to me on that particular day. LOL! Gotta listen to the voices. I stifled them for too long and they quit talking. Now that I’m open to them again, they are all chattering on so and not stopping for breath. Oy. Hopefully, can ply them with wine and slow them down a little so I can keep up and not lose my mind altogether. 😉

    1. Hello squidge my light, since this was posted I have been working on my story, ‘The Birth of the Wizard Prince’ and currently on approx 100,000 words, but since end of Jan I have added at least 40,000 and I can now see the end. However I thought that 25000 words ago. Every night I lay in bed thinking of the next and I have envisaged the end and how I want it.. it is now putting it to words. Maybe in the next week or two it will be finished,, watch my blog….When this one is done I will return to my original story ‘The King of the Wood’
      I do fancy doing something completely different, a little out of ideas for fantasy stories. but not sure on what, nothing hits me… Thank you Squidge for your input, I have been very surprised at the response and pleased as you can see. All brilliant and answers for me to work on.
      Thank you and please feel welcome always….

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