Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cassy's Corner- Starting Over

 I’ve been working on a book for a number of months. It’s a new genre for me. It started out as a grand adventure. I still think it will be, but not for right now. As many of you know, life has been a tad hectic lately with a death in the family and illness for another. So, the work I’ve been tackling has a certain “flavor” in my mouth. It’s similar to when you eat too many chocolate cookies and somehow they just don’t look as good as they did when you opened the box. My lovely wip is going to need to sit a bit until it is no longer associated with the swirling events around me.
What to do? I love to write. It’s me. So, I went to my shelf of old stories. Books I have written a long time ago yet have needs to be edited, updated and put back into the light. I picked one that has always been a favorite. It needs work. It needs a new thinking.
What fun this has been. As I have been reading (200 pages read in one day) and rethinking where I was going with this story, I have had a grand adventure. First, I am disconnected with the author- me. It’s been long enough that I’m able to be totally critical and accepting at the same time. I have little or nothing personally invested in this work. Hence, I can look at it with open eyes.
Next, it is a puzzle to be solved. I can see where there are holes in the mystery. My brain is in overdrive working to see how I can solve the issues I missed before.  This is fun. It’s like being given a large complex circumstance written by someone else and left for me to solve. How nice of me to do that for me!
So, I’m jumping right in and trying to figure out how build larger characters, make their lives more frustrating, and keep the pages turning.
Have you gone back to an earlier work? What does it feel like? Do you “own” it or is it a fresh start? This has been grand for me. It’s also a certain affirmation- I really do write fairly well. Good to find out every now and again. Tell me your experiences. I’d love to know.


Anita Clenney said...

Cassy, it sounds like you're having fun, and that's one of the most important things in writing. If it isn't fun, why do it? We sure don't expect to get rich. :) I haven't worked seriously on any old stuff. I've been to busy with current projects, but I have looked back at them and you're right. There's a disconnection. You aren't married to the book or the writing. That should help you be a lot more objective and see if there's life to be breathed into the story. Good luck, and keep having fun. You deserve it.

Liz Lipperman said...

Reading earlier work can be fun--and humbling. I have two shorter manuscripts (one a YA and one a romance) that I could probably fix up to be marketable, but do I really want to have books out there in yet two MORE genres? The answer is no. I save them for when I am bored on a rainy day.

Your muse will come back after life quits throwing you curve balls. Embrace the part of you that loves reading--and keep on reading your own stuff!

Cassy Pickard said...

Anita: Your words are so true, not that I deserve it, rather it's what we all are about. I have been having a great time. At 4 am this morning I was worrying about how to protect my poor gal yet keep her at the edge of trouble. It's the life we all lead. Again, thanks for your comments.

Cassy Pickard said...

Liz: I hear you. This is a good thing for me. I am loving "finding" my old work and discovering that oh my gosh- it doesn't stink. That all by itself is worth it.

Lindsay said...

I've got an older story, actually it was the first one I got contracted and recently got the right back to. I've started going through it and making changes including renaming the characters. I'll then go through it and do an edit and probably add a little more here and there. Afterwards I then look into selling it again probably giving my publisher first refusal on the book.
The other old story has been contracted since '08 or '09 and still hasn't been published. I'm thinking of trying to get the rights back and again resell it after I make changes to it so it will fit into my current style

Kari Lee Townsend said...

I love revisiting old stories :-)

That's what I did when I pulled out my romantic comedies, dusted them off, and self pubbed them.

Good luck with yours!