Some projects never quite get off the ground, while others get quite far along before something happens and they just don’t… quite… finish. Every writer has folders full of such unfinished material. Sometimes we call it “research,” or maybe “experimental,” or perhaps simply “abandoned.”
Usually it never sees the light of day, but later we may come back and re-read some of these old stories, and, if we’ve grown as writers, perhaps cringe at the terrible prose. Alternatively, sometimes some of the writing holds up quite well, but only in bits and pieces, and the plot as a whole just doesn’t pan out. We tell ourselves, “I’ll use that in something else later,” and maybe it will happen, but usually it doesn’t. If it does, it only feels forced, quite obviously something we just couldn’t let go of and had to cram in somewhere, and unless we’re very clever readers will spot it easily.
So, instead, for your reading displeasure I will post selected scenes from unfinished and abandoned works. These are raw, unedited, and definitely incomplete. If it feels like something is missing, that’s because it is; entire scenes are left out, meant to be worked on later, but later never came.
Of course, the abandoned work-in-progress that immediately comes to mind is Switch, the story of a young woman on a journey of self-discovery, unsure of what she is looking for, only knowing she hasn’t been finding it.
Here, in the opening scene where we first meet Olivia, she is breaking up with her most recent boyfriend, as things lack a certain oomph. It won’t take long before she wonders if perhaps everything has just been a little too vanilla in her relationships, and what she needs is something spicier. Her search for spice, however, won’t always go according to plan…
Switch: “It’s Not You, It’s Me”