I’m in the process of re-vamping my library/office in my house (aka digging it out and making it work like a real office ;)). During this long process, I’m really looking through what I’m keeping. This includes digging through boxes of notes that I’ve made on various books throughout the years.
It’s been eye opening that’s for sure!
I am a serious pantser, as Ray Bradbury would say I open the window and follow the character’s footprints in the snow. This leads to LOTS of brain storming and divergent paths at various stages in the writing process.
I’ve found notes and ideas that were not followed that would have radically changed where that particular book ended up. Sub plots that were modified or dropped, new ones that were added. I’d like to say that my characters stayed the same, but even they have changes as they morphed from earlier notes-through various brainstorms.
I don’t see these lost notes/ideas as wasted at all, clearly they helped me get to where I really needed/wanted the book to go. And some of them are so different they could be used for another book. But still, I almost feel sad for those lost books—the ones that were briefly alive, then lost in a pile of notes.
What about you? Ever find notes where you shot off in a different direction in the final draft? How do you feel about those paths not followed?