• Sofia Sawyer

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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