No no, I’m not going to give a lecture on actual recycling, although I do believe it’s incredibly important in our day to day lives.
Today I want to talk about the recycling of our writing, and the ideas that we generate, and in particular – first drafts.
I have a few 1st drafts hanging around my hard drive. Some of them will come to light, and some of them will probably stay in the dark for a very long time… (Mind you, I also have 2nd and 3rd drafts that probably shouldn’t see the light of day either.) However, I digress.
What I am trying to say is that as writers, we often dredge up past works to work on and turn them into pieces of art, which hopefully – someday – people might want to read.
I am struggling at the moment with a draft piece of my work. There is SO much structurally that needs to be altered and changed… that I am actually wondering if I need to ditch the original and rewrite it. I say this because not only does it have holes everywhere that need to be filled, but it was also written four years ago, and therefore even trying to even bring this manuscript and its writing style up to a standard I am happy with is a hell of a challenge.
So what do I do? Do I reinvent the wheel here? This is definitely a story that I want to tell. Some days I think that perhaps I am just better off sticking to thrillers instead of leaping outside of my preferred genre and into YA. It’s a strange notion to think that I am actually considering this idea. And then I also wonder how long it would take me to bash out another draft of this story. Probably not too long, if I think about it – but the thought is still a little terrifying.
So what would you do? Would you try and recycle a story up to an awesome standard that you were happy with – or would you ditch it and start over?