You know, it was easier when I’d never finished anything, never expected to finish anything, and could just wander off in a trail of unconnected snippets and plot fragments.
Easier, but less satisfying.
I’ll keep reminding myself of that part. As it is, when health and stress levels did not help my creativity, my brain took a side detour through a haze of unrelated snippets and plot fragments. But now it’s coming back, and I’m looking at this lump of story, and going “who are you, and what do you want?”
Step one: print it out. Look in amazement at the finished product, and go “How did you get that big? Did anyone tell you that you were supposed to be a short story? Wait, I did, frequently. And you ignored it.”
Step two: three-hole punch and three-ring binder.
Step three: sit in the sun, in the back yard with a glass of water, and read through. After all these months, I can start to see bits where the words weren’t quite right, and how to change it. Also start to see what else it needs added in, now that I’m admitting it’s really not a short story, never going to be one, and should be treated like a novel.
Step four: get to the end of what’s printed out. Say un-lady-like word because now the complicate mess and tangle of the fight scene that stopped me is back and pressing at the back of my right eye like a muse-y little migraine. Poking at it like a sore tooth will commence.
Do any of you have a better, smoother process for reading back in to a work that was no longer in progress?