Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#180) -- Cutting Room Floor

Do you keep spare files lying around with discarded paragraphs like film on the cutting room floor? How do you feel about writing paragraphs worth of stuff and then scrapping it?

I have folders filled with unfinished stories, but in the back of my mind, I do plan to get back to them (well, most of them, anyway) one day. I also keep a notebook and a voice recorder with snippets for stories on it.

I don't mind scrapping stuff that clearly won't work, but I prefer to try to find ways to rework failed ideas and turn them into new stories. Sometimes I take something that may have begun life as a literary tale and tweak it into a pulp story. Or perhaps transmute a sci-fi story into a horror tale. Sometimes the new settings don't fit, but you'd be surprised how often they do, and -- voila! -- I've got a brand new story from the bones of a dead one.

And that's a zombie I'll welcome into my life any day.