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Avoid bad stories

It’s difficult to live with bad writing, so sometimes we decide not to write or tell a story. We want to avoid bad stories, but this is impossible.

We need to tell bad stories. Until they’re told, stories are just ideas.

And what is a bad story anyway?

Sometimes a bad story is a matter of timing, like John Kennedy Toole’s book A_Confederacy_of_Dunces, which was posthumously awarded the 1981 Pulitzer  Price for Fiction. The book had been rejected by various publishers, and it took eleven years to get it published. Toole never saw the book in print: it was his mother who found the manuscript at his home after he committed suicide and decided to do her best to get it published.

Trying to avoid bad stories is not a good tactic, mainly because it’s impossible, but also because it’s difficult to figure out what is “bad” about a story: The timing? The audience? Something in the story that needs more work?

Don’t give up too soon on bad stories – at least not until you’ve learnt how to improve them. Only then should you think of giving up or passing a story on to someone else who can complete the circle. Stories choose us for different reasons, and if you believe this there are no bad stories, but rather incomplete stories that you or someone else will complete somehow, somewhere, some time.



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