My son has returned for another school year, which means back to writing for me. I typically begin from complete scratch, crafting a fresh story that brewed in my mind during the spontaneous, sun-baked days of summer. This time is different, however. I face (and embrace!) an entirely new challenge. You see, my latest work-in-progress (WIP) is not really new at all. In fact, it is a finished draft of a story I wrote years ago!
It is interesting to "re-see" a piece I have previously written. Over time, the plot shifts to new levels. Characters grow, merge, and sadly fall apart. Ideas and images abound in a refreshing way. It is as if I am reading it for the first time yet reuniting with a cherished friend. The tricky part of re-visiting an old project is this: the timing must be exactly right. This story patiently waited in my files for four years. Four years. Whenever I cleaned out files, I ignored it. I kept it, however, because my writerly-mind did not believe it worthy of destruction. It was not great, but it was very good. And although it did not shine (no first draft ever does), it held promise.
And so it came to be that I was once again spring cleaning my files when I came across this story. Unlike every other time, I could not ignore it. The pages called to me, and I answered by transferring them to my active folder. Over these summer months, we re-connected. I have jotted pages of notes-what to add, delete, revise. Anxious would not be a strong enough word to describe how I feel. Excited? Yes. Curious? Definitely. A new approach is just what this writer needs. Change is good. Having a rough draft already written is even better. The people and places I stored away years ago now have a path to follow, a purpose. As do I...
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