Picking up Where You Left Off – And Starting Over

I am closing in on two weeks post-surgery (It’ll be two weeks on Wednesday) and It’s been a fortnight of changes, let me tell you.

I think I’m turning into someone who sleeps on their back – which I’d never been able to do before. I’ve started a habit of reading in the morning – where it used to be a night-time ritual.

Little things – and some bigger things.

I got back to writing (it’ll be a week ago on Tuesday). Just prior to surgery, I sent off Crimson Whisper, my novella project, and I cracked open Queen’s will for the first time in a few months.

It felt a little musty, mentally, like anything that been shut up for that length of time will get. I wasn’t sure how to go about getting back into the project. I remember peering into it while Crimson Whisper was resting after that first draft. I thought that I could re-read it and then pick up where I’d left off. That didn’t work out.

What I ended up doing was creating a Queen’s Will 2.0 project and I created a fresh, new Outline folder and I’m re-outlining the story. I can already tell that a good bit of what I’ve already done will either not make int into 2.0 or it will end up somewhere other than where it originally was.

Sometimes you’ve got to step back and start disassembling before you can start putting things back together again – especially when you’ve stepped away from a project for so long. This is something that I’d do in the second draft. Yes I know, technically, this *is* a second draft, but it doesn’t feel like that enough to call it a draft. It’s not complete.

So I’m calling this the second iteration of the first draft and will move on from there.

One of the things I’ve got to remind myself of is to not be constrained by what I’ve done before. I caught myself doing that a bit as I was working yesterday. I actually left myself a note at the top of the new outline to remind me that I’m not locked in to anything. It was freeing in that I didn’t want to just copy what I’d done before, but to really explore the possibilities.

As I type that, it sounds like I wasn’t doing that – and perhaps I wasn’t. Queen’s Will is loosely based on – perhaps I should change that to Influenced by – The Three Musketeers. Only With Women. In Space. With Powered Armor.

Maybe I needed to leave myself that note about not being locked in to anything, earlier. Or maybe it wouldn’t have made any difference then. It’s hard to say.

The experience with this project has reinforced my belief that in between finishing that first draft and digging into the second one, you’ve got to put some distance between yourself and the work – Maybe not the several months of Pandemic time it took me to write and edit Crimson Whisper – but certainly longer than a couple of weeks. Somewhere in the middle – like enough time to write a short story.

Thanks for reading.

Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

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