Wednesday, March 1, 2017

IWSG: Everything Old is New Again


It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for the Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop. This month, the question hoppers can answer is: 
Have you ever pulled out a 
really old story and reworked it? 
Did it work out?


My answers: Sort of, and Yes.

Incarnation #1. About 7 years ago (2010), I had a story idea about a young woman who was a monster slayer (original, huh?). The villain was a monster called The Ratman, who preyed on children. The premise sort of followed the Pied Piper story, and as a nod to the musical aspect, I wrote song lyrics (a short poem, actually) to start the story. After fiddling with it for a few months, I had no enthusiasm and put it away.

Incarnation #2. Two years later (2012), I picked up the story, titled it Ratman, and decided I could solve the lack of originality by adding Sci-Fi elements to it, something about world wide nexus points that could transfer you from place to place... I dunno. I love Sci-Fi, but I totally failed at developing a believable scientific basis for the novel.

Incarnation #3. A little over two years ago (2014), I entered a contest on Writing.com for a 400-word novel opening. I got out my creepy Ratman poem but needed to write the actual start of a novel. I thought, What's the most riveting opening I can imagine? Believe me, it's a lot easier to think up a beginning if you don't have to worry about writing the rest!  The contest was decided by popular vote from a lot of writers--and I won!  Then I decided I'd use my 400-word winning entry and try to expand it into a novel.

Final Incarnation.  BLOODWALKER, Thriller/Mystery novel published October, 2016.

That's right, my whole novel began as a poem written 7 years ago--and here it is:

School is out, no books today.
Boneyard’s where the children play.

Marta’s there and Peter, too,
Silent faces, cold and blue.

Shut the doors. Lock them tight.
Ratman prowls the streets tonight.


Win your own audiobook version of BLOODWALKER 
by the entering the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This is a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It exists so the community of blogging writers can share and support each other, blog-hopping to cheerlead and commiserate. To find out more, visit: Insecure Writer's Support Group. Plus, check out the IWSG Website for lots of helpful info and links.

39 comments:

Sheena-kay Graham said...

The poem was cool and chilling. That's great that you got to rework and publish an old story/poem into a whole novel Lexa!

L.G. Keltner said...

It's amazing how things can develop over time, isn't it? That's why I keep all my old work. You never know what can come of it!

dolorah said...

It was an awesome story that took its time coming into the light. Sometimes, patience ins the answer to plot holes :)

Cathy Keaton said...

Oh, wow! You are a poet, Lexa. I like it! I actually write about how I am NOT a poet in my IWSG post for the month, interestingly enough.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, all from a poem! Funny where the inspiration comes from, isn't it? Cool that you won the contest and then went on to write Bloodwalker.

The Cynical Sailor said...

Wow - you wrote song lyrics/poem! That's so neat. It's really inspiring to read about the journey that led to the publication of Bloodwalker.

Pat Garcia said...

Congratulations! I call that determination and perseverance mixed together to end up with the right timing. So happy you didn't give up on it.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat

JeffO said...

Nice! You never know where these things will take you. I've toyed from time to time with revising that "first love" manuscript of mine that never got any traction back in the day, but I also want to keep moving forward, and I'm not sure this would move me forward.

Rhonda Albom said...

The poem is a bit creepy, and quite a long way it travelled to get to the book.

Natalie Aguirre said...

How awesome how your poem turned into an idea for your novel.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

So much love for this!!! And your persistence and perseverance are inspiring.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

And that's why Bloodwalker turned out so well.

Andrew Leon said...

I wonder just how many novels started from poems.

Jennifer Hawes said...

It's amazing that your poetry shifts/inspires into whole novels!! I used to write poetry when I was a kid. Actually, kids paid me to write their poems for English class. It was a good business.

Tanya Miranda said...

That is such a creepy poem, I love it! Do you include it as part of the audio book? It would be like the rhyme from Nightmare On Elm Street that EVERYONE who grew up in the 80s knows.

emaginette said...

If nothing else I should look back to see what brilliant inspiration had me writing way-back-when. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Patricia Lynne said...

That's awesome. The poem is super creepy too.

Kate Larkindale said...

I often re-work old stuff. I'm doing that now, in fact. Re-working an older novel so, hopefully, it works now. Next up, I'm going to try and make a novel out of my old Beach House stories! So yes… lots of recycling in my writing life.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

That is a great story. I like the poem, creepy and creative. Thanks for co-hosting today.

Yolanda Renée said...

What a great story, and the poem, masterful! Truly!

Congratulations!

Thanks for signing up for my tour, AWESOME!

Julie Flanders said...

Oh, wow, what a great story!! And I'm not at all surprised your poem won that contest - it gave me chills! So creepy.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Good for you for not giving up on a thought that you must have known had something to it.

Raimey Gallant said...

Sounds riveting. I love how you kept reworking this and found success with it ultimately. A great lesson. http://www.raimeygallant.com

cleemckenzie said...

Baby Steps! What a great stairway to climb. Congrats on doing it, Lexa.

Stephen Hayes said...

Fascinating how an idea can generate a poem that morphs into a successful novel.

Patsy said...

I've been reading about people rewriting things and finally publishing in another form, but this is the first poem turned novel. I'm impressed.

LD Masterson said...

I love this. I have a book that started out in the 80s (yes, the 1980s) as a Sci Fi Romance. A decade or so later it morphed into a straight Sci Fi. Another decade and it was a Mystery. Ended up a Paranormal Suspense. I don't know if it will ever find a home but the core characters and story just won't go away.

Tamara Narayan said...

I love that poem. The story that came out of it fits so well.

Lynda R Young said...

Ha, I love the story of Bloodwalker's creation! So awesome.

Kim Lajevardi said...

What a cool development story. Your perseverance really paid off.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Wow, I agree with Kim, you persevered!!

Loved the poem. And I hope I win the Audio Book!!!

Olga Godim said...

Love the poem. And what a terrific journey you had turning it into a novel.

Chemist Ken said...

From Ratman to Bloodwalker, I can definitely see that. LOL. Glad to see you kept at the story for all those years.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Way to stick with it! Love the creepy poem. I still need to read the book. I know, I'm the slowest reader ever.

Loni Townsend said...

DUDE. Creepy. Glad it worked out.

Sharon Himsl said...

Hi Lexa!!
Please add my name to the "Celebrate the Small Things" list. Linky doesn't work and I'm not sure how to get back. Posted early... Thanks!
https://shells-tales-sails.blogspot.com/

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Ooh, that poem gave me the shivers! Good job on sticking with it and winning the contest. What a fantastic, inspiring story!

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

That's so cool, and the poem is great!

DMS said...

I love creepy and spooky and that poem is perfect! I had no idea Bloodwalker started as a poem. Very inspiring to see how many times you tried to rework it before you got it right. Bravo for not giving up. :)
~Jess

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