Years ago, I convinced myself that a novel I was writing needed to be a story within a story. I carefully constructed a storyteller and two deities who guided the story he was telling. I took great trouble to craft my whimsical introduction which I hoped would draw my readers along the corridors of my tale.

A couple of weeks later, I came to the conclusion that although I loved the rich imagery of what I had written, it wasn't really necessary. If anything, it was actually preventing the reader from getting to the story and probably throwing in some confusion as well.

Did I rip up the unneeded passages? Not at all. I filed them away, hoping that I might find a home for them in some future story. I have files. Ok, I have a whole host of files of ideas still waiting for a home. Some of these are fully written passages. Others are scenarious. Still more are characters. Sometimes, I merely have a title or phrase. I see these as my treasure trove, a glittering cavern to reach into for inspiration. Nothing ever goes to waste. Perhaps I'm guilty of hoarding (my husband would point to the unpacked boxes that have travelled with us through the last two house moves) but I don't care.

Never despair that a passage written or a character found will go to waste just because they don't fit with your current work in progress. The muse has simply thrown you a gift. File it away in your treasure trove until you find a fitting shelf to display it on.


  1. I also have several files of discarded or deleted ideas, characters, phrases. But my treasure trove is so disorganized. I'm afraid I'll never find them again. How do you file your treasures?

  2. Sorry Kelly but I can be of no help with organisation. I just put them in a file that seems appropriate date wise or space wise. Makes for some chaotic but interesting reading.

  3. Fi, I completely agree. I wrote a novel that will never see the light of day, but I've taken things from it, passages, ideas, dialogue. I made it usable in a different way.


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