Thursday, September 8, 2016


By Kathleen Lawless

Have you ever wondered what happens to all those writing ideas that never see publication?  Maybe they were scribbled character sketches, a high concept premise turned into a synopsis, or three chapters that fizzled into nowhere.  I can't tell you how many of those are lying around my office, on paper or disc or USB sticks.

Wouldn't it be comforting to think that there's a massive hard-drive in the Universe where writers are free to browse?  To exchange a plot that didn't work for one that will.  It would be nice to think that lightbulb moment, or those pages weren't wasted. 


Maybe our outtakes are on the drive as well.  Those massive chunks of words we ruthlessly cut in order to tighten our story might be of use to someone else who's lost for the exactly right word. 

I've heard it touted that there are no new ideas anyway.  That it's up to the creator to take a well-used idea or popular myth and spin it into something fresh.  I've been to brainstorming session where several writers have come with similar ideas to flesh out.  They've left the session with completely different storylines.  No on would ever know the same 'what if' was the basis.                                 

So what's your take?  Is there a Universal Intelligence Bank where writers make deposits and withdrawals?  Or are your ideas yours and yours alone, all springing forth from that part of your brain that never seems to run out of ideas.                                                                                                       


  1. I love this concept, Kathleen! I wish this were idea vault. A hard drive somewhere in the ether where all the good words and best ideas go to wait for the right writer. This will make me smile all day!

  2. I'm constantly getting ideas. I'll never write them all. As to chunks cut in editing, I've actually published some scenes on my blog as "outtakes." Makes me feel better about some of the funny stuff I write in first draft that doesn't make it to the final.


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