The age-old saying for writers is that we should never throw anything away.
I agree. But in case you’ve written something you think is complete and utter shit, I advise you to read along…just for a bit.
Okay. Seriously. Do NOT throw away your writing, whether it’s a short story, a scene, half a book, etc. I’m a firm believer of the notion that your current shit eventually becomes gold. Something you hate now might eventually become the premise of your next book. There’ve been multiple occasions where this has happened to me. Hell, The Forger, a novel I wrote in an intermittent span of six months last year (2015) was built on the foundation of a novel I wrote back in 2009.
But what if you finish a novel and you try and try to make it and its sequels work, but they just don’t? Keep it. Retool it. Reimagine it. Taking an old idea and giving it new life is refreshing and fun. That’s what I’ve done with Sewn From Seeds-then-Of-the-Sky-then-From-the-Sky-now-Absolutely Untitled.
The same can be said for many of my short stories. Eclipsed (2013) was rewritten in a fantasy setting to examine why were creatures are afraid of eclipses. The Corporation has been reimagined as a fantasy as opposed to science fiction.
The list goes on and on; my point remains the same:
Just save it. You never know.
–The Reckoners trilogy, by Brandon Sanderson
–White Sand, by Brandon Sanderson
–I Am Not a Serial Killer, by Dan Wells
-The Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne trilogy, by Brian Staveley
–On Writing, Stephen King
–Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction, by Orson Scott Card, Philip Athans, Jay Lake, & Writer’s Digest