This week I started revisions on the first novel I tried writing. It’s a story I started around seven years ago. I’d tried to finish it several times until setting it aside last year. I felt the pull to go back and finish it at the end of last year and decided it would be what I tackle first in 2020. Trying to go back and find the structure in this story has been difficult. It has felt like following a trail of breadcrumbs I left for myself, but then I forgot where I was going halfway through. I have thirty-three parboiled chapters and many, many holes to be filled. There are parts that need to be cut entirely and totally reworked. I’m working on plotting what I have and doing some deep digging to find the original story seed again.
I filled my plot board with notes for each of the chapters I’ve got so far and played around with making maps of the world. Both tools will help me work toward finishing this manuscript by the beginning of February. It is exciting to see how far I’ve come with my storytelling, to compare what I did with this story in that stage of writing versus what I want to do with it now. It was absolutely the right choice to set the story aside when I did. I understand the story more since I took time away from it.
This week preparing for a weekend retreat with my peer critique group. We’re making time to work on vision boards, watercolors, critiques, and lots of free writing time. I’m excited to get more of this story onto the page!
What was the first story you ever wrote? Have you ever revisited an early piece of writing? Did you revise what you’d written or take the idea and start from scratch?