The graveyards on my computer are always growing.
In the ART and WRITING directories on my computer are files that are at best, living in purgatory. Bits and pieces of projects. Stories started and abandoned, illustrations not-quite-ready for whatever they were were meant for. Stuff from two in the morning when a story seemed SO good it would write itself, until the morning’s light made me aware that it was never…never going to work.
When I start writing a new story I usually visit all my graveyards. I rummage around in the old bones and shards of broken pottery looking for interesting bits. Character names, scenes, a particular doodle. These things have ways of coming back to life in a new context. Their resurrection isn’t 100%, but they tend to inspire me and make me think of ideas in a new light.
These graveyards don’t just exist digitally. I have folders stuffed with papers with doodles and opening sentences. Then there are the sketchbooks; filled with bits of projects going back years. I usually start a book’s thumbnails in a sketchbook than gradually build to full size paper. So one sketchbook might have 3 years of parts of books in them.
Below is a page from an abandoned manuscript. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll actually get back to that story and figure out a way to make it work. Or the idea will be reborn in a new way when the time is right.