The Writing Process: Don’t Forget to Save the Liver

Save the LiverOne of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits was the one when Dan Aykroyd played Julia Child; while preparing a holiday dish Aykroyd/Child tells viewers not to throw the liver away. What happens next is classic SNL:

Saturday Night Live: Save the Liver

When writing, you should also “save the liver.” In other words, when you are writing your fiction or poetry, don’t discard anything that you write because it “doesn’t work.” For example, I am working on a new novella and there is one chapter that doesn’t seem to fit right now. It reads okay, but I am not sure if I want to keep it or discard it. The novella would work without it, but there are parts of the chapter which I really like, so I don’t want to remove it just yet. The best thing to do is set it aside and see where the story takes me. If I need it, I can always come back to it.

This is true for anything that you write. What doesn’t seem to work right now, could work later, as you revise your story or poem, or could even be a stand alone work.

Don’t throw anything away just because you don’t think you’ll need it now.

Always save the liver.

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