Good afternoon fellow NaNos! I hope your writing is coming along well.
(And yes, I know I missed day 5. But, hey, it was my anniversary give me a break!)
My goal for today was to reach 15k and thanks to the copy and paste feature on my computer I have surpassed the 16k mark!
*Celebrate good times, come on!*
Today I wanted to address why NOT to dispose of old snip-its. It’s a part of that ‘growth phase’ I mentioned before.
My novel that I am writing I had begun a while back. I started writing it feeling pumped. And then… I read a book called Plot & Structure (thank you Scott Bell). And I felt like it was utter garbage…. at first.
Though the beginning was dreadful and I had no ending or middle, I couldn’t bare to throw out all of my hard work. And thank God for that! (And that I kept reading.)
Sometimes you hit the proverbial wall. Ever done it? Happens to me all the time. And when I hit my wall my brain begins to stutter.
“Boy meets dog. Dog is nice. Dog cute… dog…. ” And then I crap out.
When I get stuck I also tend to lose the ability to put together a coherent, and nice sounding sentence or paragraph. It’s kind of like essay writing. You have your introduction where you more or less tell what you;ll be writing about. You have your body where you break it down point by point. And you have your closing where you round out your prior thoughts. I go from being able to structure my story to a hob-gob mess.
So what did I do? I cheated. And that’s okay!
I went back to some of my still saved works and read how I’d phrased things before. I had still wanted to use a lot of the scenes I had written before, so that’s what I did. Instead of re-writing what I had liked before (which I was struggling to do) I copied and pasted from the original.
My original was not complete trash, it just lacked many core items. But the descriptions I had forgotten before were still there, and that’s what I needed. And I was amazed at how well the two fit together!
Some people write in sequence without any outline, which I find extremely difficult, and others write out of sequence and then order them. Connecting the dots. I tend to use both. For the spaces in between my plot points I “wing it”. But what really surprised me is that from my original 8,000 words of ‘winging it’ I have been able to draw and use a large portion of it for my re-write.
And I remember re-reading my original and realizing that it all, and I mean all, would have to be re-written and the POV changed. It was a daunting, and scary task. One that I was, if I’m being completely honest, terrified to tackle.
But after entering it into my newest version, which will still need to be edited and re-written after editing, I have realized that it wasn’t quite as frightening as I originally dreaded.
Now I often flip through old scenes my muse used to inspire and pick them out to put in my notebook. Who knows, I may use them later in some shape or fashion. And if the notion strikes or I hear a conversation I’d like to add to, that notebook grows just a little more.
So don’t be afraid to hold on to those clippings! (Except when your editor says you need to cut something completely. But that’s another topic for another time.)
I hope this helps you in the trenches! Have a good one and keep writing!