When a story is “finished” and should stay as such

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I’ve hit a bit of a block with my progress on my submission to Roar 8, and this isn’t the first time I encountered this: I should have left “Runaways” well enough alone. I also have an incomplete story, “The Colony of Bats,” I wrote for a class a few semesters ago. I tried combining these two stories into one in the hopes of producing something new and worthwhile. However, in a weird way, I feel like I’m writing fanfic of my own fiction. I’m taking what’s already a good story and altering it to complete another original work. The reason I’m feeling this way is because I wasn’t producing something original for this anthology; I was rehashing older material.

Also, regarding “The Colony of Bats,” there was just too much world-building I still needed to do, primarily an unknown culture. That’s quite a lot of work I’d need to do in such a short amount of time. When I initially wrote this story, I barely had anything established for this culture, and I still don’t.

With that said, I guess it’s back to the drawing board. Right now, I’m thinking of expanding on a short writing exercise I did only about a month ago. It’s new, it’s fresh, it could still fit the theme “paradise,” and I think I can make it sound interesting. As for “Runaways” and “The Colony of Bats,” I’ll leave them where they are and put what I’ve already written in my scraps folder.

Honestly, even if I get rejected, I would still be happy; if anything, this is a learning experience. It would still be cool if I got published though, but I’ll let the editor be the judge of that.

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