Tuesday, June 14
We hear it all the time.
But what could recycling have to do with writing?
A lot, actually.
We've all heard of the authors who recycle the same old plot over and over. And it generally begins to annoy the hell out of those of us who recognize it. Although the non-writing public doesn't seem to be bothered by the recycled plot.
I'm not talking here, though, about the published author who runs out of stories to tell and cycles a tired plot.
I'm talking about those of us who have yet to sell, and reuse pieces from those old manuscripts.
I'm currently working on a contemporary western, with light suspense. Most of what I've written in the past has been the same, or with more suspense. I've never done it, but I have a place where a previously written love scene would fit perfectly in my current work.
I've never done that before...taken pieces or even chapters from old mss and embedded them in a new work. For a couple of reasons. My writing always evolves. Constantly. I change and grow all the time.
And also because it always felt a little like "cheating" to me. I know, dumb. But to cut pieces out of old mss and use them in a new piece has always felt a little bit wrong.
But I have to wonder if it's actually a "green" thing to do. Most of those mss aren't going anywhere. There are a couple that I could try to get my agent to sell, but most of them are dated now. Would it be so wrong to cut and chop up those old works into something new and viable?
Do you recycle your old, unsold works?
Or do you write completely from scratch?