THE IDEA BEHIND THE SITE
My Unfinished Novels was started by Steve Wilson, six-time failed novelist, and the author of the nonfiction book, The Boys From Little Mexico: A Season Chasing The American Dream.
For most writers, any novel that is unpublished is a failure, since most authors don’t want their manuscripts to gather dust under the bed. But some novels never even get to the point of being unpublished. They are simply abandoned, sometimes because of material pressures (second job, third kid, fourth tour of Iraq), and sometimes because of creative illnesses, internal cracks in the author’s foundation. People change, but books remain static, and if a person changes enough, the book they were writing may no longer be their book.
My Unfinished Novels exists to explore that idea: why was this novel abandoned? The answers, hopefully, will elucidate and entertain.
Each Unfinished Novel gets its own post. Each post includes a reason for abandoning the novel, a summary of the story, and an excerpt of the book’s beginning. Rights to each of the novel excerpts on this site remain with the original authors.
So, read the stories and the stories behind them. Make up your own mind about what failure means.
It is safe to say that there are innumerable more unfinished novels out there then there are published ones. Now, thanks to Steve Wilson, a six-time failed novelist himself, the unfinished novel now has a final online resting place.
My Unfinished Novels is place where your creative failures are welcome with open arms and a sprinkling of dignity.
-Seattle Post Intelligencer
“My Unfinished Novels exists to explore that idea: why was this novel abandoned? The answers, hopefully, will elucidate and entertain.”
-The Guardian (UK)
If you’re holding onto 55 pages of a manuscript written in 1999 that you thought was going to be the “great American novel”—this is the site for you.
The novel graveyard: where creative failures go to die.