Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Musings about my "break" from writing
Before the holidays I had given the first couple of chapters to my critique partners, received excellent feedback, revised. Repeated the whole process. Revised again. You know how that goes. I think I got the first ten or fifteen pages very close to right, which is a great feeling. (I'll know soon if my CP agree.) But after the last set of changes I had to take a break from that novel. I had read the beginning so many times, cut pages, moved scenes, got rid of everything that annoyed my CP (yeah, I'm sorry to say there were a few things that just didn't work and I love my CP for helping me to see why) that I was afraid I wasn't looking at it objectively anymore. I knew I needed time to forget the story.
Normally, I'd jump to another project, but at this time I have two novels out on submission and my current WIP. This left me with the dilemma of what to do with my writing time. I kept telling myself I should catch up on my ever growing TBR list, but I like to read at night and I had plenty of time off during the holidays to write. I also have a few novel sitting on my hard drive waiting for me to come back to them. I decided to read through a YA novel I'd first written in 2007. I don't think I intentionally shelved this one. I still love the premise and the characters. The last time I put this one aside was because I had sold a novel. I must have known I'd be away from it for awhile, because I had noted exactly what I had been changing and where I'd left off at the top of the Word doc.
What started out as an I'll just read through this novel for fun turned into me rewriting more than half the chapters. I even set myself a deadline for when I had to be done tinkering with it (because I really wanted to get back to my other project). I'm happy to say I made it. I should have known I'd end up making major revisions. I have a MG story in a similar situation as this YA novel, and the last time I read through it for fun I added 10,000 words. I may never subs these novels. They may end up being the side projects that keep me going when I'm on "break", because I obviously don't do breaks like normal people.
Do you have novels waiting for you to come to them? Pet projects you fiddle with in between other projects?