Over the past week, I've really begun to dive into the novel manuscript that I left to whither on a shelf for the past two years. Though I've been working on it off and on since the fall, it's only been the last several days where I've had the chance to gain some momentum on the second draft. I have to admit, I'm truly loving this story.
In the past, I've talked about the peculiar affliction that often happens once I've finished the first draft of a novel. In short, I usually end up hating every word. After becoming so submerged in the words for so long, it's impossible not to feel as though you're drowning in them. Typically I push past that infection and plow ahead to the second draft. Due to many circumstances that hardly seem worthy of mention, that was not the case with this manuscript and it was set aside.
I remember reading it after the first draft and, as expected, hating it. I felt that it needed so much work that I didn't have the energy to tackle. Funny though, when I picked it up again this past fall and re-read it, I didn't hate it. In fact, I felt it was quite good and most likely better than anything I'd written since. Granted it was still rough around the edges, still needed lots of work (and still does) but it was certainly something that could be shaped.
I've always known that time away from a project can be beneficial. Time is one of a few things that can provide a shot of energy into a manuscript. Working on it now, I no longer feel as though I'm fighting with the words. It's been enjoyable to reconnect with these characters that I spent so much time creating, and I can't help but feel they are trying to help through the process. They want me to finish their tale as much as I want it finished. So for now, I will continue to enjoy their hauntings as I work through demons of the past. With any luck, the navigation will be a rewarding adventure.