There was a solid two or three days where I thought the story I’d written was done. I’d finished the third draft and felt that yep, this was the entirety of the story I wanted to tell. It had all the elements I felt were necessary and while it may not yet be perfect, this at least was close to the final form the story would take.
It stayed that way for those two or three days.
Then I started getting ideas.
There was nothing that would actually change the structure of the story as I laid it out. Instead, these new ideas could be inserted between chapters and provide additional points of view and information to the story. They were more than supplemental material and would actually add something even I acknowledged was missing.
So the question I faced was this: Do I use these ideas now or later?
If I go with “now” I have to hold off on working on pitching the novella to publishers of various kinds.
If I go with “later” then I’m delaying whatever future the story might have on the off-chance these additional ideas actually pan out.
There are nuances to both approaches, of course. If I wind up self-publishing (likely) I could put out what I have now and then offer the additional material later. And I know the additional material (if it works out) could add to the appeal of the story in the eyes of a publisher.
I’m still figuring all this out and deciding on the best course of action. But I’m curious as to whether this has happened to anyone else. I know art is never finished, just abandoned, but have you ever tucked something in, sat with it a few days and then wrestled with new thoughts and ideas and angles?
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.