A couple of years ago during the creative frenzy of NaNoWriMo I wrote a novel. No big deal, right? That's what a lot of people do in that month. Then I put it away. I let it sit, simmer, let the words and ideas and characters all kind of comingle in a strange dance in my desk drawer. This is nothing new for me. I got into the habit of letting first drafts sit for a week, or a month, years ago when I first started writing and publishing. It lets the work settle and when I come back to it, I can look at it with a fresh eye.
But a couple of years seems a little extreme, even to me. What happened? Well, I was lucky enough to get contracted for several non fiction projects, you know, writing work that pays. I set my novel on the back burner, but I always had it in the back of my mind to work on again when the time was right.
The time came. So I pulled it out of the drawer and started reading it. There's a lot wrong with it. Sure, the length is kind of iffy and the plot could be a bit tighter, but as I read it I relived the energy and excitement I experienced while writing the first draft. My characters are real, or they feel that way to me. I've created a unique settings. It's a romance, so - zing! I love the zest for life that my characters bring to the story.
Sounds like a lot of "I'm great" doesn't it? Well, I also know how much work it will take to bring it up to publishable quality. But I'm hopeful, really hopeful. Many writers despair of the revising and editing process. There just isn't the creative fire burning when you get to the nit-picky stuff. But I've learned how important it is and yes, how fulfilling it can be to dig even deeper into character, make the story really sing, find an edge to the plot that was missing before. Someone said all great writing is rewriting. I know some writers get it perfect first time out of the printer, but they are few and far between. I'm going to be rewriting this story I have fallen in love with all over again so I can show it to someone else who might fall in love with it too. I'll let you know how it goes.