Deb Amy Loves Leftovers—In The Fridge And In The Manuscript

It’s the day after Thanksgiving so if you’re reading this, you’re either still in a triptophan stupor, you’re back from shopping at midnight, or you, like me, prefer to guard the leftover stuffing instead of to fight for the best deal on hat and mitten sets. And while many would say they don’t like leftovers, I think there is a lot to be said for making something last and revisiting it on a new day and in a new way.

And I don’t just mean food.

As I pound away at my WIP, I realize that there are leftover ideas, scenes, and snippets from novels-that-will-never-be. I have folders and Word docs, I have scribbled pages and lists. There are outlines and names.  And there are memories.  Each one can give me a serving of something brand new for my WIP, even though it’s left over from another project.

Waste not want not, right?

I spent some time going through some of these leftover novel parts, and while not everything belongs on today’s plate, some of it reminded me what was delicious about those stories I pushed to the back of the shelf.  A tree (or in this case, two trees), a line of dialogue, a scene long forgotten that made me smile.  Some of it will continue to become part of my WIP, and part of it will end up back in the leftover bin, still more will go into the what-was-I-thinking trashcan.  But no matter what, I’m thankful for the ability—and inclination—to look at something from yesterday with new eyes and a new perspective.

And now, it’s time for pumpkin mousse cake, writing, and a little turkey and stuffing. In that order.

How do you like your Thanksgiving leftovers? On a sandwich? In their original form on a plate the next day? Hash? Soup? And what about the writerly leftovers? Do you leave them to rot or forget about them? Or do you put them to good use? 


5 Replies to “Deb Amy Loves Leftovers—In The Fridge And In The Manuscript”

  1. I LOVE leftovers. I love leftovers more than the original dinner. Yep, I’m weird that way. One of my favorite guilty pleasures is the turkey drumstick. Ever since I was a kid, I would hope against hope that nobody would eat it, and then spirit it off the next day to sit in a corner with the drumstick and my current read, and proceed to gnaw that bone clean. As for manuscript leftovers – I keep a file for every project called “The Darlings File.” This tends to be extensive, and so far has never been re-used elsewhere. But you never know.

  2. I love leftovers, too! So does my dad, and he was none too pleased with my mom’s idea this year to provide “takeaway boxes” so that other members of our family could take leftovers home. By the time everyone was through, there was barely enough for a meal for my parents, even though they’d put on the whole dinner! My dad was trying to stay calm, but I could tell he was pissed. Poor guy. Robbed of his leftovers!

    And yes — manuscript leftovers can be great, too. I keep a file for each project with cut sections, etc, and I imagine some of them could be very useful for a future story!

    Great post :).

  3. I love leftovers too – and like you, I like them both after meals AND after writing! I keep files of all the scenes and ideas I cut from one manuscript, just in case they might come in handy later on.

    Sadly, I left all my Thanksgiving leftovers at my mother’s house, but I’ve got a turkey in the fridge tonight, so I’ll just have to make some leftovers of my own!

  4. I love leftovers. I do a xerox copy of the original meal plate, complete with stuffing and cranberry sauce. YUM.

    And I love writing leftovers, too and never throw anything away. One day, I’m going to make a FRANKENWIP out of them.

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