5 Ways to Repurpose Your Scrapped Writing
This one goes out to all my writer friends out there who have “killed their darlings.” As a writer, there’s so much we produce that never sees the light of day. Characters, scenes, story lines, whole stories, heart-wrenching dialogue. All of them were dreamed of, plotted out, written down, and then...nothin’.
But just because that character or scene or one swoon-worthy line doesn’t make the cut for one story doesn’t mean it’s all for naught. Here are some ways you can recycle your cut writings.
New stories: this seems like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised. You could think because you had to cut a scene or character from your story, that it’s crap. That might not be the case at all. For example, I tried writing my first novel when I was fourteen. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough life or writing experience to get beyond the first four chapters. You think that story was forgotten? Nope. I have it in my “story idea” notebook and realized the reason why I was stuck was that I was starting at the wrong point in the story. Now that I’ve written a few books, I have a better sense of how to reuse that concept in a better way.
Freebies: Jennifer Probst made this suggestion at the RWA conference. Keep your email list or social media followers engaged by sharing never before seen “cut scenes” from your fans’ favorite stories!
Reader magnets: reader magnets are a great way to build a following and grow your email list. Why not reuse and build upon something you’ve already created? A lot of authors write novellas or give perma-free novels for their magnets. You could even do something as simple as a few pages talking about a specific side character’s story, or insight into a fictional world you’ve made, or even a travel guide that highlights the places that inspired one of your books.
Social media posts: it’s important to stay active on social media to connect with fans between book releases or while you’re building a following prior to your debut novel. Sharing cut pieces is a way to give readers a taste of your writing or get them excited about upcoming books.
Inspiration for new books: maybe there was a minor character or scene that didn’t work for the story you’ve written, but they could inspire a whole new story. After spending time building out a character profile, wouldn’t it be great to cut out the extra work of making a character for a new story?
Always keep your cut writing. You never know how you can use it down the line. Hopefully these tips can help you look at your scrapped writings with a kind eye and new perspective, sparking inspiration along the way.
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