After yesterday’s post on how to start your story, several of you left interesting comments, but none more so than Camille:
The sound of paper shredding, a toilet flushing. Five months of her life, like refuse, gone.
Randy sez: I worked on my first novel for two and a half YEARS, then realized that it had a major problem that would prevent it from ever getting published. So I flushed it and started a new one.
That flush was metaphorical, by the way. Of course no writer EVER throws anything away, right folks? We keep it, because it might come in useful. Fact is, I flushed the next novel too. Then I finished the next one (but it never got published). Then I started a sequel, which I never finished. But . . . here’s the point:
There was one particular scene in that sequel that I liked a lot. Years later, when I was working on my novel RETRIBUTION, (which DID get published), I needed that scene. I went back and found it and reworked it a bit and used it. It’s one of my favorite scenes in RETRIBUTION.
Never throw anything away! And never let those voices in your head tell you that your time was wasted.
Here is the truth: no time you ever spend writing is wasted. You might spend years working on a novel that never gets published, but it might well be a necessary stepping stone on the way to publishing something else. Something better. That has been my experience.
I bet a number of you have experienced this too. Any examples, folks? Was there ever anything you wrote that seemed to have been a total waste — but later on you realized that it was a stepping stone to something else?