Sometimes it’s good to let the sun set on a project for a time. That’s what happened this summer. I had every intention of keeping up with my writing and making progress on my novel, but other things came up. Vacations, mostly. And that’s a good thing. I spent a lot of time with my family, a lot of time with friends, and little bit of time in some mud (intrigued?) and, of course, some time at work. (Gotta pay the bills, don’t I?)
Last night was my first night back at the keyboard and it was refreshing. I went back to the beginning and re-read Chapter 1. Not the latest Chapter 1 of countless revisions, but the very first Chapter 1 I ever wrote. This was first light on my main character, Roland, and how he almost got shot in a diner. And guess what? It wasn’t that bad. In fact, it had a tone and a quality that I recognized as “me,” but that I’ve lost along the way. I remember some early readers suggested the chapter was over-written, and it was. But in classic newbie author over-reaction, I swung the pendulum to the other extreme and removed all aspects of my personal writing style in an effort to “just say it plainly.”
I doubt I would have noticed that without a few months away from the project to help reset the gauges, so to speak.
So I’m going to revisit my original writing style and allow myself to indulge a little bit more from now on. At the time I got the advice to simplify my writing, it was well-needed and well-heeded. But now that I’ve got a few tens of thousands of words under my belt, I’m thinking I can afford to be a bit more, well, me.