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The pirate and the pack rat

Today’s blog is also showing at: http://romancemagicians.blogspot.com/2009/12/pirate-and-pack-rat.html.

In my non-writing life, I’m not a pack rat, I’m a purger. I have a Goodwill donations bag going at all times, and I relentlessly thin the morass on a regular basis.

I will admit that moving frequently helps. No place for that thingamabob in the new house? Toss it. ūüėČ

However, in my writing, I horde and reuse scenes as if they were precious heirlooms. On my current WIP, I took out 20,000 words, and nearly started over, but I didn’t toss those scenes. Instead, I moved them into my unused scenes folder (Scrivener makes this super easy), and raided them (the pirate part) later for usable material.

Heck, I poured hours of effort into those words. Why not repurpose them, if possible?

Even though my plot went in a different direction, there were perfectly good elements buried in those deleted scenes. With a few tweaks, the sex scene in the bedroom could be brought back wholesale. A part where I described the scenery as they drove north fit perfectly into a later scene. (The reason they were traveling changed, but the scenery didn’t.)

Sure, most of my hard-earned prose is destined to stay in the dustbin, but there’s no reason not to recycle when it works. And for the rest of those words? Writing is never a waste of time. It’s part of the learning process. Every word gets us closer to the one million mark.

The Daily Squirrel: follow

Annabelle’s father wrapped his large hand around hers, engulfing it in calloused heat. She smiled, knowing that her cheeks would ache from it by the end of the day.

“Follow me,” he said, pulling her toward the workshop.

She stepped inside the dim room, ready to burst with anticipation. The familiar scent of pine and sawdust tugged at a string in her heart. She would always associate the earthy smell with her dad and his woodwork. Her eyes followed him eagerly as he strode to a table where a large object stood covered by a canvas cloth.

“Are you ready?” he asked as a large grin spread across his weathered face.

She nodded and jumped up and down. He removed the cloth with a flourish and her eyes widened in surprise. She clapped and ran to the workbench.

Atop the rough, battered surface sat the most beautiful doll house she’d ever seen.

0 Comments

  1. Martha Warner

    Reply

    Yep, yep, yep. I do the same (but I use PageFour). I have a “notebook” that is specifically for the lines I take out. Then later when I think, “Oh man! I could really use that one scene…” — I can!

  2. Martha Warner

    Reply

    I agree. Before when I just used Word, it was like everything was scattered around and my computer slowed down under the weight of all the open screens.

    PageFour is like Word but it all contained in notebooks and folders within the software itself. It doesn’t have all the added bells and whistles of Word either, so all you focus on is writing… My life is much easier with it.

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