This past week has not gone as planned. I am extremely behind in my word count as you can tell by looking at my sad and empty bar graph on the right. My assignment that I thought would be easy since the story is already written has stumped me more than a few times and is still not done. Remember the character profiles I mentioned in my previous post? Well, that’s part of my assignment. The part that has been a little less than cooperative.
The profiles are pretty in-depth and I’ve had to think about things such as why my main character, Eva, is an only child. I didn’t really think details like this mattered, but I have a much better feel for Eva and her family after figuring them out. Although Eva is the main character, there are four other characters that are pretty important so I’ve decided to go through the multiple page profile for each of them. Thus, I’m still not done with my assignment. It doesn’t help that this past week, I’ve fallen asleep with the girls 4 times out of the past 7 nights. But I have high hopes for the rest of the month and a completely filled in graph.
Now that my characters and their story have taken over my thoughts again, things I had trouble with last year are starting to fall into place. Maybe there’s something to letting a piece of writing sit for a while and coming back to it. I’ve never been a big fan of this approach. I find it hard to jump back into a writing project if I let it sit for more than a few days. Granted, I’ve only worked on shorter pieces previous to this, so that could be why. The ones I did let sit, are still sitting. Even the ones that are done and have already been submitted to a few magazines are still sitting, waiting for me to find another magazine to send them to. Finding the right fit between magazines and my stories is obviously an area I need to work on. More on that another time though.
Letting my manuscript sit for a year was exactly what I needed. Back stories and explanations are coming together (thanks in large part to the profiles). My characters are also being fleshed out a bit more and becoming more rounded. My antagonist was pretty much just an evil guy and my protagonist was a little pathetic, not really taking action. Not anymore. And while I was thinking about the small details of each of the characters this past week, I cleaned out my closet, reorganized and sorted my oldest daughter’s toys and began knitting a teddy bear for my youngest. All in all it’s been a productive week, even if my word count bar is still empty.
Now, I’m curious. Do you let your writing sit? If you do, is it hard to start working on it again? If not, how do you become objective when it’s time to edit or work through plot areas that are giving you trouble?