Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Crimes of Passion: Larceny

So maybe you've managed to get half way through your first draft without any problems. Or maybe you tried to bribe yourself, and you ran out of stuff (not that I would have any experience with that). Or maybe you just like the idea of stealing. Who knows. Point is, we're all here now, and writing a first draft can be soul sucking.

Writers must resort to some tactics that aren't always pretty. But we do what we must to get that draft done. Sometimes, in order to jump start a stalled draft we have beg, borrow, and steal.

No, I am not advocating you steal from other people. But you can steal from yourself.

You know that stack of unfinished stories you have laying around? All those stories you started and never finished (not like you're going to do here, no, because you're going to finish this book if it kills you)?

You can mine those stories for good bits. I have a whole document folder dedicated to pieces and ideas and concepts that I don't have a home for. This can be anything from a cool secondary character to a plot twist to a neat setting. You would be surprised how many of your failed novels hold ideas that are pure gold. A great way to open up a new dimension to your failing work in progress is to re-purpose old ideas and use them.

You're stealing from yourself, but that's okay. You'll never notice.

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