Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Writing Wednesday: Keep Your Mistakes!...

Last week, I wrote about just getting it to paper. And I wrote about technology... lol! One of those posts was supposed to be for today. Ah, well. It happens.

So anyway, along the lines of just getting it to paper, we're on to this topic. Keeping your mistakes.

Why keep your mistakes?

Okay, so you are cruising along, you have a few hours to write, you plop down in front of the keyboard and you just go, go, go! It's turning out beautifully! You swell with pride and by the time you reach the end you realize you want to do this:

You started out with a romance and ended up with space zombies taking over the world. And somewhere along the way, the vampires have hacked into the computers and made everyone rich so they would become fat, lazy cows, easy to slaughter.


So why keep this? Because there will be grains in there that you can work with. Seeds you can plant and make them grow into the story they're supposed to be. Maybe your romance started out fine, but you lost track somewhere and you need to find out where, so you can fix it.  Keep the rest, though. Because, well, Vampires hacking into computers and grazing off their dirty work might end up being a killer story.

No pun intended.

And space zombies? Psh... whole other story.

So, see? If you keep your mistakes, you may be able to extract bits and pieces and end up having five or six different stories to work with. Just let your brain pump out everything all in one shot. Getting it to paper, and then finding what gems can be mined from what you just wrote.

I have several mistakes I've kept and have pulled things out of those stories to use in the future.

Have any other tips or suggestions? Leave a comment!


Hart Johnson said...

I definitely give revisions a new name and keep the old. And I rarely make changes too close to the original writing, because you are right--there are often things there that you definitely want to keep even if you've changed your mind on direction.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If I wrote about space zombies, I'd definitely hang on to it, just in case.

Mel Chesley said...

Thanks for your comments!

Alex, I knew you'd keep space zombies. :D