Welcome Handsome Hansel from Dance of Romance – posting with us today on how to bring some new life back into an old story.
I’ll admit that I don’t go back and read a lot of what I’ve written after it’s been “out there.” I judge myself too much. As much as I’ve critiqued myself before having others read it, I’m rather harsh on myself once I’ve let it go. I’m not sure why that is. I tend to be ok with what I’ve written until turned over to someone else.
However…that’s not true of what I call my dead pile. These are pieces I’ve toyed with over the years. Stories I’ve began then orphaned when an easier going story came knocking at my noggin. It doesn’t mean I love those stories any less than the one getting my full attention presently. Just that I’m not inspired to push it forward. I’ve hit a wall with it and I really don’t think I’m doing the story, myself, and certainly my readers a favor by forcing it. Hence, the dead pile.
I recently revisited my dead pile wondering if there was anything in there worthy of some HH CPR. I came across a story of Davie. A loner of a young man picked on by his peers and laughed at by the female set. He finds his confidence after stumbling into a dance studio while trying to ditch some bullies chasing after him. Befriended by the instructor, she gives him a place to escape the outside world while helping him find his inner self.
I was only five chapters into Davie’s tale when I killed it. I don’t even really remember why I dropped it by the wayside when I did. After reading it again though, I decided it needed new life.
They say you should walk away from what you’ve written and let it breathe a little before signing off on it. As writers we will see the good and the bad in our own writing when we walk away for a little bit. It certainly saves having to hear the bad from others first!
I have no doubt that everyone reading this has their own version of a dead pile. I hadn’t looked at mine for over a year. I encourage each of you to read through yours. Yes, you’ll cringe…a lot. You’ll also find some hidden gems. So what do you do when you find those gems? Resuscitate!
As I mentioned earlier, I can’t remember why I walked away from Davie. Once I reread what I had written, I automatically knew where I had to take the story. There were a number of revisions necessary in order to get the flow in sync with what needed to happen next but it wasn’t too cumbersome. If anything, it reinvigorated my passion in his tale.
With each story we begin to write we attack it with vim and vigor. Yet we also anguish at the prospect of getting it started. With your dead pile you’ve already jumped the getting started hurdle. That’s not to say it’s a sprint to the finish but you have a head-start you had forgotten about.
Rediscovering my dead pile couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Personally I’ve flatlined lately when it comes to my writing. I’ve picked up a few freelance gigs to keep the writing muscle in shape but when it comes to my professional writing my heart just hadn’t been in it. Coming across Davie again changed that. It gave me the kick in the pants I needed to bring his story back to life. And not only his story but the others I was also working on.
Find your past works in progress and revisit them. You’ll read them with a new perspective.
(For those of you who know me know this is a less winded post than what I’m used to posting. I apologize and can assure you next months post will certainly make up for it. Short on time isn’t a good enough explanation but I’m running on fumes as we speak.
Have you ever had a manuscript flatline? How did you bring it back to life?
Join us on Monday for Donna Cummings who swears she only wants 15 minutes of our time…=)
Bio: Like most of us, I’ve been around the block a time or two (or three) in the relationship world. I like to think of myself as having a pretty thick skin, however, that skin doesn’t surround the heart.
I’ve been in love; I’ve been in lust. I’ve been hurt and got up to do it all again, each time having learned more of myself as well as “wants” and “don’t wants” for my next relationship. Amazingly enough, I never gave up on that one true love wrapped in Romance. You can visit me here, at http://thedanceofromanceonline.com
- Handsome Hansel presents: Sex Is Not Romantic…Or So I’ve Been Told
- “Why Me? Why Us?” Handsome Hansel on Romance University
- Empathy. It’s Where Characters Are Born – Handsome Hansel
- Passion Needs Compassion – Handsome Hansel Tells Us Why!
- Free Your Writing with Handsome Hansel