The Writing Cool Down Time

They say that when you finish a writing project you should let it sit for a while and sort of ferment. You need time away from it in order to have a more detached perspective on it and to let the ideas cool down. That way you aren’t so involved and can slice the thing up as needed with less weeping and wailings of “Don’t murder my baby!”

You can see better what needs to go and have less attachment to it, making it easier (never easy, mind you) to remove what is less useful and enhance what can be bettered.

There’s always that feeling of melancholy and free floating ease when I finish a project. It’s like that act of creation is over. I’ve reached the end and all that means, and things are good. I don’t quite relax because I know there is work to be done, and part of me is looking forward to it, another part wants to get it over with, and still another is looking forward to submitting it and the possible acceptance or *gulp* rejection.

I figured with a short story, I really didn’t need that much time to go over it, send it to my beta readers, and move from there. I finished it early last week and I plan to dive in tomorrow with the editing. I cut it rather close, and normally that amount of time would be reprehensible, but there’s no use crying over it. It is what it is.

I have lost one beta reader, which is for the best. He couldn’t analyze a thing, couldn’t tell me anything other than, “Duuuh, I like it. It’s good like a fluffy…oh, look at the bunny!” *scamper away* I felt obligated to allow this person to read and comment on my stuff because of my relation to that person. Thankfully, that is not the case anymore, and I can only pull from a pool of four people. But…

One of them is potentially about to be in a very bad place very soon. Another recently had a death very close to him and I couldn’t bear to pester him. Another one…well, I simply don’t want to hear it. Not the criticism; I’ve gotten better at taking that. But because of the type of story and a particular scene within it, I just don’t want to deal with the teasing. Very dear friend, but I don’t think she realizes that writers sometimes pull from their own lives and use things that happened in them to illustrate certain points or to use them as inspiration. So, my pool of five people has dwindled down to one for the time being.

That’s what I have and that’s what I have to use. I’m asking these friends a huge favor and I can’t ask that they put their lives or sorrow or even good times aside for my benefit.

While this is going on, I have two resurrected ideas percolating in my mind. I considered going on with the steampunk thing, but that is likely going to be a novel or a novella. So, I think I may return to the realms of magic that are always in my head. But I plan to do it soon. I’m not going to let another year go by before I write and (hopefully) publish something.

I do kind of like this stuff, you know. I should do it more often.

And you know what helps me? I went back and reread an old, old, old, OLD story I wrote. It’s rough, there’s no sense of style or feeling for the world. It was before I properly understood world building (and, if I’m to be honest, it’s still a daunting process). The characters don’t speak the way I would like them to, but they have plenty of personality.

But it’s fun. And it’s funny as hell. I haven’t read it in years and I had forgotten all the giggly parts I put in there. I crack myself up. Then I went back and read something I wrote in my teens. Where did that talent go? Where did that innate sense of story go? How did I intrinsically understand world building at that time?

Dunno. But it gives me hope, guidance, and a sense of excited anticipation not only for proofreading, but for jumping into the next project.

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~ by Darren Endymion on January 26, 2015.

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