QUICK FIX: Rewrite, reuse, recycle
(Writers’ Forum July, 2008)
Have you written stories that, although they appeal to you, just never seem to win competition or get published? Sometimes a story lacks that special something to make it a winner and needs to be changed. Writing is never wasted. A story ‘works’ when all of the required elements weave together, so if it doesn’t work you need to review the elements one by one, keeping those that fit and saving anything that doesn’t for another story. Rewrite, reuse and recycle.
Here are a few recycling tips:
• If you believe the essence or theme of your story is a good one then rework it in a completely new story using a different angle.
• When characters don’t come alive or move the plot forwards change them, cut them out completely or write from a different point of view within the story.
• Try a new beginning.
• Think up a new ending – maybe with a twist.
• Take the theme, a character and the setting and write three new stories using one in each.
• Don’t be afraid to cut, change and create. A story that doesn’t work contains the elements of one which will.
No writing is ever wasted.