13 thoughts on “Recycling Your Writing by Kate Thornton”

  1. That last paragraph really sparked for me, Kate–I also have a couple of “trunk novels.” Even a couple of “trunk screenplays.” Last year I actually paid someone to retype one of the novels as a Word doc since it, too, was originally constructed in WordPerfect and saved on one of those little “floppy” discs that are now virtually inaccessible. Even so, it would need almost 100% rewriting, but your observations make me want to give it a try. Thanks.

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  2. I'm recycling an old short story for the Sisters in Crime LA anthology contest, with a few changes to make it match the theme. I hadn't thought about this story in years, and when I reread it, it wasn't bad! So all that work wasn't wasted. Good advice!

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  3. I published four old works last year. (Thirty-year old books to be exact.) Three were spy novels that took place during WWII, Vietnam and the Hollywood communist era. Since the history was still the same, all I did was make sure the plot was tight.

    The last book was the first book I had ever written. I did update it with cell phones and modern technology since the 1970s didn't have all the bells and whistles of today. But in truth, I didn't want my characters tied to modern gadgets. Since much of the action takes place below ground in caves, the cell phones wouldn't work, so I still had the story I wanted.

    That said, I throw nothing away. Some pieces may never see the light of day, but that is because I want to write something else first.

    Another story: when I was in high school I started writing a story for class. We wrote a little every day. I liked the beginning and saved it. I looked at it a few months ago and decided it would be the beginning of a new short story series I wanted to write. It gave me a great character that I didn't know when I was 16, but I know now.

    I guess we all have our methods. That is mine.

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  4. Your post inspired me to dig up an old short, short story I wrote and submitted as a part of a newspaper contest about the Statue of Liberty (an anniversary, I think). A photo/drawing was posted and we were to write a patriotic story about it. I still think mine was better than the one they chose.
    Problem is…………… I can't find the darn thing now!

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  5. Timely post for me as well, going through spring cleaning. Many similarities – do I keep, repurpose, or toss? The last time you wrote about resurrecting old projects, I dug up the 20 year old mystery I abandoned as too challenging to make believable; it had a high-tech theme and I am very low tech. But what was state of the art then is commonplace today, so I'm back in business. Great advice then, and now. Thanks!

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  6. I have effectively recycled most of my short stories several times over. I first enter contests, then anthologies and last, ezines. You can find markets over at Ralen's Extravaganza. Maybe have spelled it wrong, might be Ralan's. As for novels, publishing has never been better. I'm now with Black Opal Books and they do reprints with high royalties. And, there's always self-pubbing in Kindle. It's a great time to get published!

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  7. I have effectively recycled most of my short stories several times over. I first enter contests, then anthologies and last, ezines. You can find markets over at Ralen's Extravaganza. Maybe have spelled it wrong, might be Ralan's. As for novels, publishing has never been better. I'm now with Black Opal Books and they do reprints with high royalties. And, there's always self-pubbing in Kindle. It's a great time to get published!

    Like

  8. What a timely post, Kate. I'm amazed at the long forgotten stories I have unearthed in my major de-cluttering. I'm encouraged to see some good ideas I had. Now – older and wiser – we can really put a different take on our earlier works. Recycling is great, isn't it? Good piece, Kate.

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