Yesterday I finally took the old draft off the shelf and pulled my notes from various notebooks and stuffed it all in a folder and took myself to the library for some quiet time to read through my original draft.
I have to admit I was a little surprised by how anxious I felt about reading my own work. It’s been almost 2 years since I worked on the first few chapters of my novel. I was thinking about how it’s going to be challenging to simply pick up where I left off. Think about it. Since then I’ve read somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 books. And whether I want it to or not, that much processing of the written word has influenced the way I now think. Before I even read a single word of the old draft, I started to think of ways of changing it or scrapping it and starting a different story.
Instead of being completely intimidated though, I decided to make myself read it.
I read through the first 3 paragraphs and right away I solved a problem I had the last time I was working on it. My novel is what most would consider a sci-fi novel, and the last time I worked on it, I was wondering how to make the solar system useable.
A part of my brain was working yesterday that said, “Who cares if it’s a made up solar system? It’s fiction.”
I think this realization was a direct result of last Saturday being Star Wars day. (I watched all 3 original Star Wars movies. So, even though I’m sure someone has said or thought this before, Thank you, George Lucas, for Endor, Tatooine, and every other made up planet in the Star Wars universe.)
So with that problem solved, I made some notes for later writing and continued reading.
Much to my surprise, only a few more paragraphs after that, I had another idea about adding backstory for my main character. And even more shocking to me, I wrote something.
It’s been two years, but my old story and I are friends again. I didn’t just write a sentence either, I wrote like 4 whole pages. (I have a weird drafting style. I like to work on the computer and with pen and paper. I go back and forth between the two, but I find that I feel most connected with my writing when I do it by hand.)
At this point, I am excited to begin working on my novel again and because I am still basking in the warm afterglow of a creative break through, I feel like my goal of finishing this year is possible.
With that in mind, I am going to work on a schedule or something to keep me on task. For this week, my goal is to read all the way through the old draft and make notes.