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Nothing Wasted, Something Gained

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, April 18, 2020

As the Orthodox Easter approaches, I set out to make the traditional sweet bread. It's a tricky affair, because the recipes are often unreliable, or something might happen which you realise too late, and the dough won't rise, or won't pull apart as it should. I ended up having one such disaster- my dough didn't rise. Neither of the two batches I made! I'm still not quite sure what the matter was. Probably the wrong kind of flour was used, or I kneaded the dough too much. Either way, it wouldn't rise.

The choice I had then, was either to throw it away, or repurpose it. Thankfully, my mother was there and helped me not throw it away after all. We made it into Easter cookies! And I will be honest, they are the best I've ever tasted.

The reason I talked about this, is because it made me think of story writing.

Sometimes, we write our story, and at some point, we realise that we have written ourselves into a corner, such a corner that we cannot save it without a complete rewrite, or even a complete transformation. Or it just doesn't work under the concept that we had when we started off. If we reach such a point, there's only two options for us: either ditch the entire story and start over with the proper setup that will yield the result we want, or go on as the story takes us, rather than what we initially had in mind.

Throwing away all of the work is often a waste, depriving us of something we may not have conceived of at the beginning, but ends up being a masterstroke. We may not get a romance story, for example, but instead end up with a beautiful story of emancipation and independence. Or we may not get a true mystery story, but end up with a great one on aftermaths or choices made.

The point I want to make is that before you completely throw away a story, give it a chance to become something else than what you initially try to make it be. It might surprise you, even if it's not what you wanted.

Then, by all means go back to the beginning, and write the story you initially wanted.

I'm going to make another sweet bread today, this time with the proper flour!

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kawaiidaigakusei at 8:47PM, April 19, 2020

@Tantz, this is beautiful writing. I love how you related the image of you making dough in the kitchen as a comparison for your own writing. Adapt it, don’t waste it!

Andreas_Helixfinger at 7:07AM, April 19, 2020

@Tantz_Aerine - All's well that ends well👍

Tantz_Aerine at 2:46AM, April 19, 2020

Just to complete the narrative with an update, the sweet bread rose and is awesome now :D

sphinx8k at 4:42AM, April 18, 2020


Andreas_Helixfinger at 2:49AM, April 18, 2020

I don't have an oven where I live, so I don't bake^^ But indeed, I've experienced this sort of thing with my writing. My first comic, Molly Lusc, was originally planned to be this grand series with several issues and a grand finale at the end, the first issue being the one I had a finnished script for on hand. The problem was that I had all these other story ideas that I wanted to make into webcomics, and having a huge serial would take up way to much time for me to do them. As a solution to this I choose to continue with the script I had, reducing it into a one-shot comic instead of a series, taking the ideas that I had for writing the scripts of the other issues and combining them into the first script, making that the script for the entire webcomic, so that the part of the story I'd already covered so far remained, with the rest of it altered. And to my great surprise this change actually improved the whole story. Improved all of my stories in fact. Truly, less is more😊

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