As in all things, I take out my passions with a blow to the head (thank you, Aesthetic Perfection for those song lyrics.) I set aside the first version of The Killing Type for several reasons: I was waiting on query feedback, I was revising and sick of looking at it, I felt stuck, Real Life was messing me up, and I was bored.
I took up NaNoWriMo on a whim and slammed down 50k on a new book, with a concept I’d been dying to explore for seven months. I love it. I fell in love with it. I wept when I tormented my characters and I hated myself for making those choices. I invested my time, my energy, my soul into building this world so different from the one I built for The Killing Type. I altered history.
When the time came to revisit Charlotte, I didn’t want to. I felt heartsick. I’d loved this other world so much, I couldn’t promise to love what I’d left behind with equal measure. The rewriting process has been slow and painful, like trying to walk on broken glass without the confidence required to pull it off.
My CP hated my new opener. I rewrote it.
I spent days not looking at the draft.
I didn’t *feel* anything.
And that’s terrifying.
I longed to run back to the other book, but I told myself no. Now was the time to let that one rest and get back to Charlotte.
Piece by piece, I began stitching it back together. Now? Now I’m falling in love again. The first version was me telling Charlotte’s story. This new version is Charlotte telling her story. Writing 1k a day is still a challenge, but I don’t dread it anymore. I love the direction I’m moving, I love how things are finally coming together. There is hope after you set the draft down.
I’m excited about this story. Honestly, it’s unrecognizable from the draft it was. Before, it was just a story that I liked. Now it’s a story I want to read. I want to be as fired up to dive into this world as I am when I read my favorite books.
Treat your MS just like you’d treat your favorite books. Because it should be on that list. I wish I could tell you all the things I’ve cooked up. But I won’t. 🙂
Rekindle your writing romance:
- Stop looking at your MS as a “project” and look at it as something worthy of your love. Treat it as you would your new favorite book.
- Talk to your writer friends/CPs. I know at least one of my friends is in a similar place revision-wise. Talk it out. You’ll feel better knowing you’re not alone, and you can encourage each other.
- Work some gray magick. I already had an outline for TKT thanks to my former draft. I used it as a map to better than where to step. Because I’m not a linear-thinker, I’ve spiderwebbed out from the beginning and set markers to write to. I can still flow around the script, but I have a structure when I need it.
- Set a word goal. Mine is 1k a day. That might sound low, but I work varying hours around a full-time job and freelance work. If I go over goal, AWESOME. If not, I’m happier as long as I hit 1k.
- Some days you just can’t, and that’s okay. I wrote 1k every day for the last 6 days. Sunday, I had my dance show. I wrote nothing. And that’s okay. Take a mental break.
Of course, your mileage may vary. Everyone’s writing journey is different. Don’t be afraid to try something new, but if you know something works and another thing doesn’t, don’t waste time on things you know won’t help you.
I’m off for my 1k before I head into work.