Friday, March 16, 2012

Friend Friday: James Duckett






Guest Post: Since age 7, James Duckett has wanted to be a writer. After not finding his true callings as a perfume salesman, fence painter, accordion player, radio DJ, and popsicle maker he has decided to refocus on being the man his 7-year-old youth wanted him to be. James is going to be a published author. Join him on the journey at www.jamesduckett.com



Keep All of Your Writing
James Duckett



I’ve been told several times that writers should never just cut large sections of their book out, but should instead save them in a file to possibly use another time. Until recently, I thought this was a mediocre idea, at best! However, it costs me virtually nothing to follow this practice so I did it anyways.

A couple of weeks ago I needed an idea for a story. So I opened up my master file of abandoned writings and started to scroll through. And there it was! An idea that I had a year ago that never panned out. This time it jumped out and spoke to me saying, “What if this setting wasn’t an island, but an alternate universe?”

And that was exactly what I needed at the time. Since then, this story has blossomed in ways it never did before. But it never would have come to fruition if I hadn’t stored what I thought was of little to no worth.

So now I drink from the “keep everything” Kool-Aid bowl! You should too!







21 comments:

  1. Spot on - you never know how something that fizzled will pan out after a fresh look later on. Best advice any writer can be given!

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  2. That's a good idea. It goes great with always carrying a notebook with you. I've got a wealth of inspiration by always being on the ready to catch those stray ideas, & then keeping the leftovers of other work. You never know what's going to fit together. (^_^)

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  3. I think that in this day and age of easy cuy and paste it is fooish to toss good stuff. However, somethings need refining before reuse.

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  4. I've heard this advice before and taken it to heart. There's no shame in "repurposing" writing that you've done for other projects. Of course, revision is always necessary but you don't always need to start from scratch.

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  5. great point .. you never know where or when inspiration will come !

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  6. James - I wish I'd had a computer when I was younger. I wince when I think of all the handwritten stuff that's been lost that could have provided inspiration!

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  7. I keep mine around, and will continue to do so. Thanks for the post! :)

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  8. I'm pretty good at repurposing old ideas. I think it takes A LOT of old ideas to make one of my books.
    Plus I would totally drink hot Kool-Aid

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    1. @Chad: I know what I'm brewing for Story Makers then.

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  9. I know where you are coming from - welcome to the club!!

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  10. That's like nails on a chalkboard for me. I dejunk. I simplify. I DELETE! I feel like Luke Skywalker just learning Darth Vader is my father. "Noooooooooo!"

    In all seriousness, this is really good advice. :)

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  12. Thanks for shared a great article !!

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  13. When I was President of the Women's National Book Association, Los Angeles Chapter, I interviewed several writers, and I asked this very question, and many said they did this. It is a good practice and it saves your work, which can be reused at another time.

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  14. I'm a definite believer, having recycled more stuff than I care to admit to :-)

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  15. I love when that works out! Especially when it blossoms like that.

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  16. Great advice. you never know when something will click for an idea. and any idea that starts off "what if this didn't take place on an island but in an alternate universe" has to be epic! Just sayin' :)

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