Getting old stories out of the house

“You grow a whole lot more as a writer by getting old stories out of the house and letting new ones come in and live with you until they grow up and are ready to go. Don’t let the old ones stay there and grow fat and cranky and eat all the food out of the refrigerator. You have dozens of generations of stories inside you, but the only way to make room for the new ones is to write the old ones and mail them off.”

– Orson Scott Card, How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy

Simple, smart advice, but really hard to do. This isn’t something you learn once and have done with it, either. I find I have to remind myself at least once or twice a year to get new stories out to readers.

Also file under Heinlein’s Rules. Orson Scott Card tells us to mail them off. Heinlein’s Rule #4 is, “You must put it on the market.” Rule #5 is, “You must keep it on the market until sold.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.