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Old 10-17-2013, 12:10 PM
Leani Lopez (Offline)
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I haven't worked on my blog in awhile, but here is another post I wanted to share.

Save everything you write

I don't know if I was ever told by anyone to save everything that I write.

As my mother and fiance can attest, I am a pack-rat. I save pretty much everything I possibly can. It's a sickness. I need help.

BUT, this particular little "quirk" of mine has validity. Because of my pack-ratness (I know it's not a word. I just like the way it sounds) I started saving all my writing when I was in my teens.

There wasn't exactly a moment of clarity when I was like "AH-HA! I will save this beautiful masterpiece so I make look upon it once more in the future" it was more like "DAMN IT! Where is that f****** stupid story I wrote! I KNOW IT'S HERE! Son of a b****" (My language has improved since then, if only slightly).

When I started writing, a notebook was my best friend. I would constantly write little stories or scenes whenever they popped into my head, and I would keep the notebook with me constantly. When I got a little older, and computers became more accessible, I would save every writing document I created. In fact, I still have stories on my current laptop that I started when I was fifteen or sixteen. They are terrible, absolutely horrible. But I still have them.

Going to a technological middle and high school was a dream for me, mainly because we were given our own laptops. I continued to write constantly. Even sometimes at 2:00am when I would find myself awake with a sudden story idea. Don't tell my mom. She still doesn't know.

The reason I thought about this topic was because recently, while thinking back on BLOOD, I realized I had reused a scene. Many years ago, I had written a short piece about a person waking up in pain and not knowing where she was. It wasn't more than two or three pages and it was scribbled hastily in a notebook. I was proud of it, but when I had someone read it, they were annoyed that all it talked about was someone being in pain and that was it.

I couldn't explain to them why I was proud of it. I mean, looking back now, I know it was probably poorly written and repetitive. But, at the time it was different from anything I had written. Because of that one person, I abandoned the story and I don't know what happened to that notebook.

While thinking back on BLOOD, I came to the startling realization that I have a scene where my secondary character, Celina, awakens in a dark dungeon. She is in immense pain and is unsure of what is transpiring around her. Looking back on the story I abandoned so many years ago, the two scenes are practically mirror images of each other! The scene with Celina is basically the finalized draft.

Somewhere in the back of my cluttered mess of a brain, I was able to recall that scene and use it in a better way. I wish I still had the other story. I would love to go back and re-read it to see how much has changed.

This leads me to my overall point: save everything you write.

You never know when you will need it. Maybe you wrote something that didn't work for another story but will work perfectly in the one you are using now. Or, you had an idea that you don't want to pursue, but another writer you know would be able to tell the story. If it wasn't for saving ideas and writing, Mordia wouldn't even exist today. I wouldn't have published an ebook and this blog wouldn't be here.

Okay, the blog probably would be here, but none of you would be reading it. Okay, maybe you would be reading it, but I would sound like a raving wannabe who doesn't know what she's talking about. You know what . . . let's just leave it there.

In this day and age, where computers reign over pretty much everything, a notebook and pen can still be your best friend. You can keep the notebook in a safe place and refer to it later when you are stuck or just want to take a stroll down memory lane. If computers work better for you, make sure you have multiple copies of your stories. Dropbox recently has become one of my favorite resources. I can access the site on any computer I'm using and always have the most up to date file. Just don't forget to occasionally back things up onto a flash drive. You never know.

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Old 10-17-2013, 01:55 PM
Cityboy (Offline)
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Just as important, save 10% of what you earn. By the time your retirement comes along, Uncle Sam will be occupying a street corner with tin cup in hand. Don't depend upon him for help.
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Leani Lopez View Post

I don't know if I was ever told by anyone to save everything that I write.
I have almost everything I've written on paper, including two pieces from 6th or 7th Grade which helped determine my future path in writing.

Anything that makes it to paper gets thrown into a drawer for review at a later date. The computer makes things faster to write - the volume of writing is larger - but this volume is more difficult to curate than old-fashioned writing to paper.

Lance
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