I’ve been looking over some of my stories, and reading critiques I’ve gotten for them, this week. And I’ve come to realize that at this point, I’ve got a fair few stories – three or four, I figure, where the following things are all true:
- There’s good things going on in the story, that some readers like considerably.
- There’s also plot or conceptual problems in the way that the story is written at this point.
- Try as I might, I can’t figure out a way to resolve the fundamental problem or flaw, without starting again and writing a truly different story that would share only some of the same elements of character and plot.
So, in general – what do I do with these pieces of my work? Is it worthwhile to clean up the more superficial issues that I do know what to do with, (which usually still exist,) and try sending the story out to potential publishers? Or would I be better off just filing the entire mess, including the critiques, away against some future time when I’ve grown as a writer and might actually be able to (and interested enough to) fix the core problem?
And, if applicable, how do I ‘saviore faire la difference’? That is, know how to make the decision on a case by case basis.