In With The Old!

 By Charlotte Bennardo

What goes around, comes around. 

What's old is new again! 

Reuse and recycle!

These sayings all declare that not everything old is bad. This month's theme is In With The Old, Out With The New! This could apply to everything from vintage clothing to classic cars to... old manuscripts!

Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels

Many writers have early manuscripts from our beginning days which never quite made it to the submission stage or even past revisions, and some were never finished. We have notes and pages, even books of half-baked ideas, scenes that are floating around looking for a novel to slip into, and pictures in our heads of characters waiting for their moment of fame. For whatever reason, all were left to languish.

As I'm working on my MFA, I have to write short scenes in various genres and my final thesis is a 70,000 word novel, ready for submission to agents and/or editors. (Or for immediate publication via the indie route.) I can take an old idea that's a simple sentence and develop it into a scene. This neglected idea is now giving me a fresh opportunity to release its potential. It's new again. I could create a shiny new idea for the novel that will be my thesis, but I want to take an idea where I've made some notes on events, conflicts, and characters, and use that. For whatever reason, this poor 'baby' had been neglected, abandoned. I want to reclaim it and make it work. The end of this term requires an outline with specific plot points and protagonist characteristics for my thesis and by using an idea I've previously ruminated on, even though I got nowhere with it, now I can look at it with what we call fresh eyes. Experience and time have taught me to look at things differently, see alternate middles and endings, to love this idea again. I'm thrilled over the fact that while there seemed to be no place for the idea or scene or character or novel in the past, its 'oldness' can now be new. 

Plus, I get to clean out my idea file and put a checkmark that the idea has come to if not publication fruition, at least a drafted product that can be refined. No sense wasting good words, and as my professors, other authors, and even I can attest, no writing is ever wasted. What text is cut in one novel may well appear in another- eventually. Just because it's old doesn't mean it's not good. 

Charlotte writes MG, YA, NA, and adult novels in sci fi, fantasy, contemporary, and paranormal genres. She is the author of the middle grade Evolution Revolution trilogy, Simple Machines, Simple Plans, and Simple Lessons. She co-authored the YA novels Blonde OPS, Sirenz, and Sirenz Back in Fashion. She has two short stories in the Beware the Little White Rabbit (Alice through the Wormhole) and Scare Me to Sleep (Faces in the Wood) anthologies. Currently she is working on several novels for both children and adults. She lives in NJ with her family, two demanding cats, and a crazy squirrel couple who just moved into her backyard oak tree.


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