Back Burner Stories

I have a veritable library of unfinished short stories in my Dropbox, neatly archived into their own individual folders.  Some are ancient: a few hundred words I wrote on the fly late one night, or a writing exercise I saved more because of OCD than any desire to ever do anything with it.  Others are more recent, mostly incomplete ideas: vignettes, descriptions of settings, characters without stories.  In additional to all of this dead prose, however, I usually have at least a few stories in progress that I’m actively thinking about.  One of them is a far future science fiction short story about a sort of first contact attache overseeing the early phases of introducing advanced technology to a planet seeking membership in a galactic confederation.

This one is a true back burner story, in the sense that I’m actively working on it but in a secondary, low-priority way.  I’ll literally keep the file open behind whatever my primary project is (in this case the YA novel I just finished and am now editing), and occasionally switch over to it in moments of boredom or inspiration to add a few lines.  I never write more than a paragraph or so at a time.  I’m interested to see what kind of first draft this produces, and whether it’s a viable way to work on minor projects.

Does anyone else do this?  Work on things piecemeal, a few hundred words at a time?

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