It’s amazing what can happen with time and space.
I experienced this phenomenon a few days ago when I felt the urge to rewrite my fantasy novel. Now, this novel and I have had a … tumultuous relationship. I loved the characters but that was about all I loved. My description was non existent and the world was shaky at best. The worst part by far was the plot, riddled with too many holes to count. But I wanted to love the whole story. The story was wonderful in my head – it was alive, poignant, painful, and beautiful.
As much as I wanted to make it work, I decided the novel was a lost cause and I was simply beating a dead horse. So I moved on to contemporary novels and I did manage to finish one of them, which is pretty impressive for me, given the sheer number of unfinished manuscripts languishing in my drive.
If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know I fell away from writing prose for a couple months. But just a few days ago, I began to miss that fantasy story. I have to say – and this isn’t just the drama queen in me – that story is truly the story of my heart. I can’t seem to let it go. I formed the idea at 13 and while it’s gone through numerous evolutions, it’s still here and I’m 17.
And I think it’s not going anytime soon … which brings me back to my little anecdote. I thought, casually, that I’d try to rewrite it and take things as I went along. It probably wouldn’t work … but I couldn’t resist the story so I reckoned it would be a fun hobby.
Well, before writing, I made a list of all my characters then I began to summarise the main plot lines of the story and characters’ back stories so I would at least have some clue where the story was headed.
Annnnnd ….. it was honestly like magic. Everything somehow fell into place. The solutions to plot holes I’d been slaving over trying to fix for months came to me so naturally. And each solution would make so much sense, explaining other points I’d been questioning.
It was amazing and frankly exhilarating. I was mostly just glad as well that my problems were solved!
I didn’t blame myself for not seeing those solutions before either, because I knew it wasn’t from any lack of thought on my part. I’m quite certain I couldn’t have found those solutions earlier. I needed the distance.
I guess this experience showed me that even if a story seems hopeless, it might not necessarily be, AND that time and distance can really work wonders for writers. ;)