Eleven months ago, I finished The Masked Bird. Eight months ago, I gave it up for as long as necessary. I gave it up until it was time to write it again, until it seemed to be God’s will for me to continue. I needed time, emotional distance. I let it sit there for eleven months. It wasn’t easy. Oh, yes, I thought about it. But never once during that time did I open that document, and I tried oh, so hard not to talk about it or mentally work on it.
That time is over.
I read it again. I opened the dreaded document, and this book that I cried over, that raised my blood pressure and body temperature as I worked on some of the scenes, scarcely moved me. Yes, I cried a teeny bit at the end, but that was it. It’s a far cry from the emotional ties it had on me almost a year ago.
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just sitting down and editing. One thing that my long hiatus enabled me to see is that this thing needs so much work.
I’m starting over.
I’ll be mixing scenes around, totally changing how I begin, strengthening it, pulling it together. I’m not even going to be looking at the old drafts as I do so. There’s so much more I can do with it. Even after three drafts, it’s still just a skeleton with the odd bit of flesh. Now, with a fresh perspective, I can, I hope, put some meat on those bones. I’m a little afraid to lose those turns of phrase that I’m – even now – pleased with. Yet I need to take the plunge, because if I keep on doing what I have been doing, I’ll just be spinning my wheels. It’s time to get some traction and move on.
I don’t know how long this will take, I don’t have a goal to be done draft four by x time. All I know is that I’m working on it again. I look forward to returning to Raven’s world.
Stock photo by Larisa Koshkina.