The Manuscripts We Leave Behind Back to Blog

In my office, I have a small, white filing cabinet. The lock on the cabinet has long since broken, and the cabinet itself…well, it’s seen better days.

And inside the cabinet–my past waits. Yes, my filing cabinet is home to the manuscripts I had to leave behind. The manuscripts that didn’t find homes in publishing houses, the manuscripts that I didn’t finish, the manuscripts that…wait.

The first full-length manuscript that I completed was a young adult horror story, Lord of the Dead. I wrote it when I was in college. Several of my friends were archaeology majors at the time, and I went with them to a dig. As you can probably guess, the sight of artifacts, of muddy college students and of giant holes inspired me. I feverisly wrote my story, convinced I was about to overtake R.L. Stine and Christoper Pike. I would be the new voice of teen horror.

Apparently, my voice wasn’t meant to be heard. For, eight years later, that manuscript…waits.

Maybe one day I’ll take it out again. Maybe one day I’ll polish it up and see if I can find it a better home. Until then, it’ll stay hidden in my cabinet…waiting.

I think most writers have a manuscript like Lord of the Dead somewhere (and, no, I’m not saying everyone’s got a YA story about a dangerous, all-powerful Aztec god!). But I don’t think I’m alone in having a “might have been” hiding space.

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