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Rated: E · Article · Writing · #2191049
A scene is something different to every writer. What is it to me? Very, very personal!
What does that mean? To me, a scene or a plot point or a character is a Thing I created. I made is as surely as if I had gone to work Monday morning, clocked in–if you ever did that sort of thing–and sat down at a desk, or a machine, or in a company vehicle, and produced a Thing.

Therefore… Don’t you hate it when you’re plotting and preparing a scene and you write it and work it and twist it and BOOM! Something happens to it! It isn’t going to work. It doesn’t have the oomph you wanted or it isn’t going to take the reader where you want them to go. In short, that Thing isn't doing what you expected it to do!

Now, you love that Thing. It spoke to you, it had meaning. It was your baby! What do you do? Euthanize and bury it? Highlight and delete it? Shudder. That’s awful! No, there is an alternative… I, in a manner of speaking, set up that scene/character/plot point so in the future, I can “plagiarize” myself! I cut and paste it into a file called OLD EXTRAS. Yes, you put the scene and plotting aside and visit them once in a while, just to remind you what’s there! Who knows, maybe someday, the scene, or parts of it, might be able to be tweaked and used somewhere else. Just like old fabric, reclaimed yarn, or pieces of wood or hardware, you can recycle your Thing. Your old noodle worked hard to create that Thing and make it just right. Just like that leftover piece of prime rib… Never waste a great idea.
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