I first had the idea for the manuscript in January of 2011. It took all I had to do some research and work the characters out in my head. I had to force myself not to sit down and write the rough draft right away. It was not ready. I was not ready. No matter how much I told myself I knew what the story was about and where it was going to end up, I never felt that it was quite there yet. So, I forced myself to be patient and wait until November. After all that was my original goal, use it as my NaNo project.
In September I had an epiphany of sorts. The story I had been planning all along was not where my characters needed to go. It was not their story. So, I sat down and worked it all out on paper. At this point I was nearing the deadline to have my notes and outline ready. I finished my outline and notes on Halloween, just in time. By the end of November I was thrilled with the outcome of my manuscript and could not wait to get back to it and edit. I had a few ideas on what to change in order to make it better. Yet, I knew I needed to put some distance and time between the rough draft and editing.
My plan was to be back to editing it this summer. Once again, I knew it was not time. When I sat down to edit, I was not ready. The story was not there in my mind like I had hoped it would be. There was something wrong with it and I had no idea where that problem was. So, I went back to a different project and worked on it all summer.
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It has been almost two years since I first had the idea and it this manuscript has driven me crazy at times. Yet, I know that by giving this project time I have had the opportunity to really delve into the world and the characters better. I have had time to mull over the world the characters live in and ask myself many questions. I have had time to research different aspects of a world I hope to share with others.
It has taken a lot of patience not to delve right in and make the changes without first knowing the world and characters inside and out. Now, nearing NaNoWriMo time again, I am finally feeling ready to work on it again and share it with my CPs in the new year as I edit it.
Do you give yourself time between edits? Do you force yourself to be patient while the story and characters evolve? Or do you delve right in?