Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fresh Eyes

I sometimes have trouble putting a project away, though I'm fully aware that the fresh eyes that come from doing so can be priceless. I'm now working on a manuscript I set aside for over a year, and I can see it clearer. Also, some of the feedback I received at consultations is resonating in a new way.

About half of what I've written over the past nine years has been young adult, the other half middle grade. My dream career would allow me to write both--and to do so brilliantly since, you know, we're talking dreams. :)

The project I'm working on was originally written as a young adult novel, but it should have been middle grade. I see that now. It's exciting to dig into it again with a more objective eye and another year of writing under my belt.

How about you? Have you ever jumped back into a project after setting it aside for a year? If so, how did it turn out?

I feel like a song this week!

OneRepublic's lead singer Ryan Tedder be any cuter? No, no he couldn't.)


Rain Laaman said...

I HAVE to take a break after I'm finished writing a draft. Probably because I'm not good at revising and the longer my break, the easier it is to rewrite.

I would love to write MG and YA too! Good luck doin' that!

Diane said...

Pretty cute indeed. Hope all is well and you have a great week! :O)

Dawn Simon said...

Thanks, Rain! I have to force myself to quit tinkering and step back, and this is only the second time I've written a full new manuscript before returning to a previous one. I was happy with the end result last time, so here's hoping! You're smart to do it between drafts and take a longer break.

Hi, Diane! :) I hope the same for you!

Laura Pauling said...

I haven't changed age group, but I've changed point of view, which once helped tremendously!

J.L. Campbell said...

Dawn, I think as my writing gets better it's more useful when I go back to projects I wrote in the early days. A better understanding of the mechanics and such works wonders!

Anne Gallagher said...

I love going back to working on something that has been sitting for so long. Fresh eyes are a godsend.

Dawn Simon said...

Laura, changing POV is huge! I'm glad it was so helpful!

J.L., I believe it. Since we improve the more we write, that's totally logical. I enjoyed your interview at Medeia's. Thanks for stopping by!

Anne, I'm excited about it!

Angelina C. Hansen said...

I've got a humorous MG that I haven't looked at since I wrote the first draft a year and a half ago! Not that I don't love it, I've just been too busy with other projects. But speaking of fresh eyes, I wish I had a way to pretend I was reading my current WIP for the first time. It's so hard to be objective after having revised these pages so many times!

Best wishes with the revision, Dawn.

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

That's wonderful, Dawn! Yes, I love taking time away from my books. It's strange how much it helps. You almost feel like it's not even yours, but I think that's a good thing. Re-analyze and re-claim. :)


Jemi Fraser said...

I've done kind of the same thing and have realized my voice is best suited to adult romantic suspense ... at least I think so! :)

Ghenet Myrthil said...

Not a full year but I went back to my WIP after not looking at it for a few months.

Good luck with your project!

Nancy Thompson said...

I've only been at this writing gig for 18 months, so no, but, if I can't find an agent, I know I will come back to my first novel after I'm done with my second and see if I can make it any better.

Susan Fields said...

I tried to go back to a project after a couple years away from it, and I just couldn't get into it again. But like you, I'm well aware that time away and fresh eyes are sooo important!

Dawn Maria said...

I'm about to come off an almost six month break from my novel. I worked on some edits and structural issues during my residency in June and now I feel ready to add the new material I'd outlined. There was a point where I wondered if I was just avoiding things, but the time away has been good and now I'm really looking forward to hanging out with those characters again.

Dawn Simon said...

Thanks, Angelina! Cool about the middle grade! Yes, I had another ms pull me away and I think it turned out to be the best thing. Each ms teaches us so much. I agree--it's hard to see something objectively when you know what the next line is. And the next one.

Amy, rediscovering the parts that really work can give a boost to your own confidence, you know?

Jemi, it's great that you discovered that! For me, I think this ms would have worked as a YA a few years back. For today's market, the plot is more MG.

Ghenet, a few months away is good! Good luck to you as well!

Nancy, that sounds like a good plan!

Susan, I wouldn't want to work on all my past projects. No writing is wasted, though--I'm sure of that! :)

Dawn, I remember when you did your residency! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I recently returned to a wip that I hadn't seen in many months. I love the fresh eyes feel. I'm so much more confident in my revising and editing abilities.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I think putting something aside is a great idea. It really does make a difference.