July 7, 2011


Not that kind of recycling, but you should to that too. I'm talking about recycling those scenes that don't make it into your final MS.

Laurell K. Hamilton is famous for this with her Anita Blake series. If she writes a fantastic scene and it doesn't fit perfectly into the book she's working on, she saves it for the next book.

I'm just now discovering this tactic. One of the main problems with the MS I'm currently revising is that I didn't know what scene to use for Chapter 1. Of course, I needed a suspensful scene, one that kept the reader wanting more, but I had a lot of those (in my opinion). So, I decided to trash my original (my MC was waking up under an overpass - don't do this by the way) and write an entirely new one. Rhianna's Russian Roulette song was my inspiration.

I made a scene in which my MC is playing Russian Roulette. It's short, not even two pages, but is packed with suspense, emotion and a hell of a lot of fear. I thought it was perfect...until the more I read it, the more I hated it in this book.

The scene just didn't fit. I couldn't explain why. My MC is desperate for money. She'll do anything to get it and Russian Roulette is a way to make fast cash. But Russian Roulette wasn't for my MC. It didn't feel as if it could be real. So I chopped it.

I don't know about you, but I keep all scenes that don't make it into the book in a separate file for each MS. Just in case I change my mind. And luckily for me, this scene, which is a great scene, will end up making an appearance as the hook in a totally different book. All I need to do is change my character's name.

Do you recycle your deleted scenes? Or are they too dear to use for another project?

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