It’s Okay For Writers To Hoard

I’m a writer and I hoard

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I hoard books

I’m a reader of genre fiction which typically comes in series form. So, I end up rereading books to remember what happened before, or just to revisit old friends. I’ve got a lot in paper, hardback, and kindle formats. I don’t discriminate.


I hoard story concepts

When it comes to story concepts, I keep an eye on them, ready to turn them into something bigger when I’m ready (or not).

Very often, these snippets are stored as email drafts, never sent and occasionally sorted through. Sometimes, turned into short stories, sometimes, combined with other ideas, sometimes discarded.


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Hard-copies of draft2, draft4, and outline for revisions on draft5.

I hoard drafts

I’ve got backed up copies of:

  • every draft I’ve written
  • 12 versions of my query letter
    • including 2 drafts of my ‘final’ version for each:
      • short
      • medium
      • max word length (275, I think)
  • writing snippets from those ideas that float through my head

I’ve got them saved on my hard-drive, and on google-drive. And a hard copy of draft 2 and draft 4.

Hoarding Drafts Helps Revisions

I’ve read over and over again that when editing, one save those scenes and chapters one deletes elsewhere.

I got my edits and edit letter back from K. Hopkins earlier this month and she asked for some stuff.

She suggested more showing, less telling:

  •  when I met a particular character
  • of a ritual

She suggested that certain scenes be moved forward in the plotline to help with pacing.

Guess what? In those three instances, I’d ALREADY WRITTEN IT THAT WAY. True, that was back during my rough draft, but those scenes existed and existed in that continuity.

I’m currently on my 5th round of revisions. I thought those bits had been moved back in Draft 3.

Well, yes, that’s when they were cut. But that meant I needed to open up Draft 2 to see those scenes.

Draft 2, when it was finished back in May of 2015 huge.

  • It had 36,000 more words.
  • That’s 29.75% longer.
  • That’s 130 MORE pages.

Clearly some of that needed to be cut.

Thanks to hanging onto my old draft though, I had copies of scenes and such that I can reintegrate into my newest draft, saving me effort from having to re-imagine things I’d already written.

CAVEAT

Just because I’m taking old scenes and tossing them in to fill in new gaps doesn’t meant those scenes aren’t going to be completely reworked. I’m going to edit them with a harsh eye towards continuity, pacing, and use only the bits that are necessary.

 

P.S. I’m also a dragon- aka The Book Wyrm. Dragons hoard.

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3 thoughts on “It’s Okay For Writers To Hoard

  1. I’m a hoarder too! I use scrivener and I have a scrivener doc called the plot farm just full of story ideas. I can go there and build on them or add ideas I have for them and then they’re all in one place.
    Nice to meet another hoarder! LOL
    Ann

    Liked by 1 person

  2. With rare exceptions, (treasured 1st editions) if I haven’t used it, read it, watched it, etc. in a year, it goes to hospitals or charity. The exception is story ideas/concepts–if those don’t nag me day after day, they go.

    Liked by 1 person

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