When A Story Becomes Obsolete

I drafted a fantasy novel last year, which inspired more and more ideas for side stories set in the same world. One of those ideas I fleshed out into a (very long) short story which I submitted to a writing contest in June 2020. A year later, the trajectory of my original novel and sequels have gone in a direction such that the way I wrote that short story no longer aligns with the world and timeline I’ve fashioned for the main novels.

So, I have a decision to make: Keep the story here on the blog as-is, even though it’s no longer “canon”; rewrite the story with dramatic changes to fit the new vision; or abandon and delete the story from my blog entirely.

It’s a dilemma more often experienced by discovery writers than plotters, I imagine. It’s the reason I insist on writing my entire series before submitting the first novel to publishers, to ensure consistency. The over-eager newbie of a year ago lacked that consideration.

Nothing that helps us learn is a waste, so I’m glad I wrote the story, glad I shared it, glad for what I’ve learned from the experience. It’s the first really polished story I managed to produce, so I’ll probably keep it for that alone.

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