Never Underestimate The Importance Of Your Own Slush File


I mentioned on Tuesday that I had to cut a chunk of stuff out of my latest book and throw it into my slush file.

My slush file is just a Word document that I’ve titled “Slush File” and I throw stuff in there that I liked well enough but maybe it didn’t work in the context of the story I was writing. Maybe it was a sex scene, or an argument, or a description of sunlight on somebody’s hair…who knows. It means it’s good enough to keep but not right to use with this particular project.

I revisit that file every single time I write a story, because you never know how it might inspire you. I’ve had two or three rough sentences become a kernel of an idea that expanded into a great scene within a chapter. I’ve hit writer’s block and pulled a chunk from that file to fill in and moved on, then came back later and reworked it into something much better after some time away.

I also keep a running slush file for each book in particular. That one I’ll call “overflow” and it contains scenes specific to those characters or that story line, but maybe they felt disjointed where I put them or didn’t have the right context around them. I either use them again someplace else, or at the end of the writing process for that book, I copy the unused pieces over to the slush file.

It’s a never-ending process, and quite frankly, my brain can’t hold it all. That’s where the slush file takes over.

And that slush leaves more room for the mush in my brain.



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