I’ve seen too many writers on social media talking about deleting stories that don’t work. The thought of stories being deleted makes me shiver. So, this post and last week’s post are part of my one woman campaign titled: nothing is wasted when it comes to writing.
Some of our stories will have potential, but will require a LOT of work on our part to discover that potential and bring it out into the light.
Some of our stories won’t work no matter how many times we rewrite them. DO NOT DELETE THEM!
They could be acting as bridges to other stories.
Sadly, these stories which act as bridges won’t set the literary world on fire. They might not reach a second draft. The bad news is that they will still require blood, sweat and tears, which when looking back will feel like a total waste of your time, BUT their existence is VITAL.
I think stories that bridge the way to other stories are the unsung heroes of our writing world.
These stories come to you with one purpose: to guide you towards something else.
Through the act of writing these bridge stories, you will discover something new:
- A different take on your story
- A new character,
- A minor plot thread which fascinates you, or
- The creative spark for a totally new story.
- A new style of writing or gain the confidence to write from a different POV.
Here’s my example. A few years ago I wrote my first attempt at a thriller. It was set in a coastal town and the idea came to me after some feedback which told me I needed to work on my settings. So, I wrote this seaside thriller and quickly realised this genre wasn’t right for me. All was not lost because the thriller’s setting sparked the idea for my current book and is going to be the first book in a NEW romcom series *scream* and *perform celebratory forward roll by the side of writing desk* The first book is done so now working on the second.
My new series is built around the setting in the thriller. I would not have come up with the idea for my new book without crossing my imaginary story bridge (writing my bad thriller).
When you look back in months or years to come, you will see that you had to write this story (cross your imaginary bridge) in order to get to THE ONE, which actually turned into something. (the other side).
There were no shortcuts. You couldn’t have come up with the idea for THE ONE without crossing your imaginary bridge first. You had to endure this creative journey first in order to get to your next story.
Repeat after me – nothing is wasted when it comes to writing. Keep everything.
Enjoy the journey folks! Leap across those bridges.
Have a great day x