Getting Back to Writing - Revist An Old Idea


There's a lot of old ideas in that box...

When you're getting back to writing after a break, sometimes revisiting and old idea could be the prompt your imagination needs.

I speak from experience.

When I started this blog in 2011, I was working on Resistance, the first book I ever queried. Getting past that book took a very long time. Everything I went through with Resistance was an essential learning experience for my on going quest to be published.

Thing is, even though I moved on from Resistance, I still loved it. And distance from it meant all its issues were clear to see. Last year, in the midst of querying Colony (<3), I got very nostalgic about that old book while also revisiting an idea of mine from early 2014 that hadn't worked out. I realised I could rewrite Resistance using that stalled idea.

So, over autumn and winter 2014, I rewrote Resistance. I referred to it as Magical Girl!Story. I solved some of the plot problems and thought I was steadily working towards my next querying project.

And then Ghost!Story came along mid-edit and Magical Girl!Story now languishes mid-edit.

I do not regret that rewrite or the work I put into editing it. It gave me something to focus my creative energy on.

Will I go back to it again? Maybe. Everything you write, from the big projects to the scraps that never go anywhere are great exercise for your writing skills. It's not always fun to abandon a project, but there's often a good reason - and you can go back to it later.

And don't forget, sometimes the only person you have to write for is yourself. Revel in being unagented! We may long for an agent to say "Yes!", but right now we only have to answer to ourselves. Got a totally unmarketable idea you need to get off your chest? DO IT. Not quite ready to let go of an old story? Write more. Returning to writing because that new idea is the next BIG idea that might land you an agent? Go for it!

After a long break from writing, do whatever writing you need to do to ground yourself once more.

Comments

  1. "Revel in being unagented!" Yes! This is so true. It would be nice to have a big fancy publishing deal, but right now I'm *loving* the freedom I have to do a ton of redrafts, to leave stuff sitting for months or even years and then come back to it. I hear so many horror stories about sophomore novels where the author just didn't get that time to let a story sit and evolve, and it makes me very glad to have that luxury.

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    1. I know how much I want an agent, but there are pros to not having one, too ;) Sometimes we need to remember that.

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  2. Someday I definitely want to come back to the first MS I queried as well. I still don't think I have enough distance from MINNA to do that yet. But one day!!

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    1. Yeah, I gave it a couple of years and it still wasn't quite enough. Who knows what the future may hold for that old project...

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