Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Getting More Out of Old Work

Some random ways of getting new pieces of writing out of old ones:

  • Telling the story of minor characters. Have you ever had a minor character so compelling that they almost threatened to steal the story? Maybe they deserve one of their own. I'm sure they'd be grateful.
  • Sequels and Prequels. A recipe for disaster in films, but maybe not so much in writing. Some genres of writing almost demand it, with series that go on, and on, and...
  • Re-using settings. Not quite a sequel, since different characters show up, but you re-use the story world you spent so much time and effort putting together. Incredibly common when the world in question is full of elves and orcs (someone really needs to get the pest control people in) there's no reason why it can't still work if your 'world' is, for example, a small Norweigian village.
  • Re-telling the story. Take the same basic story and re-tell it with completely different characters and settings. David Gemmell made a career out of this, more or less.
  • The other side of the story. Re-tell the thing from the other side, from the point of view of the main opponent, for example, or with a minor character narrating. They might see the thing very differently.


Stephanie said...

Some great ideas there!

stu said...

And also a good excuse to root through some of my old stuff.