I was reading an old story of mine that I had stopped working on last year (a plot bunny took me for a ride), and I was a bit surprised at how good it actually sounded. I definitely don’t remember my writing being so good at the time I was writing it. It reminds me of advice from an author stating that it’s important to put your manuscript away for a while before you go back and edit. Doing so makes your writing like new and gives you a different perspective on what you have written. The break between working on this certain story and others has definitely given me this opportunity.
The story in question was giving me a hard time as I got it critiqued by other writers and tried to decide what to keep the same, what to change, and what to chop out entirely. I don’t do so well with reading critiques, so that didn’t help either. But I think I had been looking at the same story for so long that it just started to sound like I had no imagination and that every cliche in history was stuffed into the pages.
Reading through the story has gotten me excited again about the plot and the characters that I had seemingly thrown away to collect dust. I had originally been excited for this story as I was doing something completely different in regards to characterization with my main character following a negative character arc and becoming more of a villain at the end of the story.
Now that I have gained some of my motivation back, I want to dive right in and start writing on it, but I still need to figure out how it will end so that I can make sure I stay on the right path. I have the tendency to wander, which I know isn’t all that bad as it can be good for fleshing things out, but finishing is a big thing for me. I really need to finish as least one story in my life.
As I wrote in the post Negative Character Arcs, it’s a difficult thing to accomplish when I’m so used to writing a more hero-type. Writing about someone slowly descending into a dark pit that they can’t escape goes against what I have been taught and understand. Which is why my research has been extensive and drawn out. I’m glad that I’ve had the time away from this particular story, as I believe it’s given me the time to grow as a writer and come back refreshed and rearing to go.
So far, I’ve been behind in NaNoWriMo, but I’ve been adding new scenes and characters to the story that I believe is really adding to the plot. There is one scene that I’m excited about. I used ideas that I had originally been in an earlier portion of my story that I cut because it just didn’t flow. That’s one thing I love about writing, nothing is permanent and you can move things around until it fits just right.
I’m excited to see where my writing goes this month and hope that I can add some meaningful scenes, whether or not I write the expected 50,000 words.