What to do with the writing parts you reject

When I first began revising my novel, I struggled a lot with the opening page. I wanted something that would keep the reader reading. What was my voice? I was still working on finding the main character. I had already written the book from beginning middle to end, but I wasn’t confident with the voice of the main character and the narrator. I had several beginnings that I felt were strong or compelling, but in the end I went with what was the original instinctual voice. What is interesting in the process of trying to find the voice or trying to create that strong beginning is that you may end up writing the beginning of another story. I’ve pasted below one of my beginnings, which in a way is an expository character sketch, that I decided to scrap as I didn’t feel that it would serve the entire book, but as a potential other story, short or long who knows. Sometimes it is hard to let go of something that you really like, but in the end for the sake of where the book wanted to go, I had to leave Karley to be saved for another day. It is beginning to look a little poemish to me.

The dream is always the same. Steel blue water, cold, silent, like a grave, and it was a grave. It had woke me, as it does, at the point when I see her; bloated and wedged between two erratic boulders, ancient, tired rocks, moved by glaciers, drowned by mountains’ rivers, and left to press, and squeeze her like rollers in an wringer washing tube. Always the same bits of her flesh peeling away like dying salmon, clouded lidless eyes, and her name whispered, faint: Karley.



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