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After I did NanoWriMo I took a bit of time off. I put the files away and didn’t look at any of the words I wrote for a good couple of weeks.
I think that’s a pretty natural impulse. I had worked on one story every day for a month and I needed a bit of distance from it before I came back to assess where to go from there.
I’m not super precious with my words, and I won’t hesitate to throw away and rework large chunks of text, if I think it will make the story better. Still, sometimes I think I need some time away from a bit of writing before I can really look at it and figure out what I can do to improve it.
Not what’s wrong. Imagining that something is ‘wrong’ with a piece of writing supposes that there is some way to make it right. I don’t think there is. I think there are ways to strengthen and improve a bit of writing. I think that you can make something better by reworking it, or rewriting it. But that isn’t a destructive act. You aren’t taking out what is broken and replacing it with something you fixed. You are refining a sketch.
Right now I have a bit over 50000 words of sketch. Some of the lines are very clear and I can just leave them as they are. Others wander all over the page and don’t really connect up to anything. The forms are undefined and the contrast between forms isn’t as strong as it needs to be. 
I won’t use any color metaphors, since I’m no good at color in painting either. 
In drawing terms, right now I have a line of action and some ill defined shapes. I have built up the faith in myself that if I were at this stage of a drawing, I could probably finish it. I don’t really have that with writing yet. I think I will get the story to where it needs to be, but I needed to take a few weeks away to regroup and refocus. 
Now that I am back, looking at it again, I think the base sketch might be alright. I’ll keep working on it. 

This post is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 by the author.
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