Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Cut, Paste, File Away

I'm a bit of hoarder. It's a habit I inherited from my parents who lived through the second world war when the rule of thumb was 'make do and mend'. I hang onto things well past their useful date. Thankfully, necessity and several house moves have meant that I've had to let a lot of things go. The only area of my life that I have never de-cluttered is my writing.

I have diaries from my childhood up to adulthood, books and files of old writing, and a couple of novels that I wrote in the past and will one day revisit. That's just the writing that's been penned or printed out. There is a whole world of writing on my laptop and hard drive. Every scrap of writing that I have scribbled down, typed onto the note app on my mobile phone, or saved onto my laptop has been kept because I always have that niggling worry that I might just find a use for it all some day.

This habit has recently come in very handy while working on my novel, well, the novels that will come after my 'novel'. There's the deleted chapter about how Rex and Cormac first met which has given me a brilliant starter on their back story (an important element in books two and three). There are also two scenes that I had written for book two but felt I would have to lose when the storyline of novel one changed. I can now re-purpose those too. A chapter written for novel two that will no longer work because of changes to plot has provided me with a wonderful character who just spoke his way onto the page. I'm glad not to have to lose him. Even a description I wrote years ago of a dragon can now be used.

Dipping into my 'creative bank' has helped me piece together the story arc for the whole trilogy. I just have to write it now.

Are you a creative hoarder?

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