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Writing Advice from the Bookshelf: Andrew McAleer on Saving Your Writing

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Excerpt From “Saving Everything” in The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists (ed. Andrew McAleer):

101 HabitsDo not throw away your work. Save everything. Especially your early material. In your early work are the seeds of your fledgling voice, your characters, your story lines. These words are measuring tools and moreover, while you may have to face the fact that a certain manuscript is unworkable as a whole, portions of it may be salvaged with great promise. Think of that wonderful character you created, that fascinating scene, or that incredible setting that just poured from your subconscious. If you throw it away, it can never be recovered. As Ben Franklin said, “Waste not, want not.”

Also, the idea that you came up with today may not be useful for your present project, but for one you will work on years down the road. Fortunately, when it comes time to take on this future project, you will have your ideas at your fingertips. Don’t let a good idea get away.

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Work Cited:

McAleer, Andrew. “Save Everything” in The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists. Andrew McAleer, ed. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2008. 150. Print.

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