I have a question for you all–be ye picture book writer or trilogy triathelete. How do you get back into a book when you’ve set it down for a longish while? Let’s say that you were forced at penpoint to finish something else and you had to leave it languish for a few months. What do you do to get back in that world? Might be the same as writing a sequel, now that I think about it.
Let's see … I once took 2 1/2 years off of a book to complete an MFA program so that I could learn how to write the book in question. Upon completing said program, I sat down to complete the book. Guess what? I didn't remember the character's voice. What was it that she wanted? Why did she want that? And what was the pressing issue? I had to completely reacquaint myself with my character, setting, story – the whole nine yards. It was like writing a different book with the same character – and I learned that she had changed as much as I had during the break. I started back in by reading what I had written, revising, revising, and revising the first few chapters before moving back into new territory. I'm really enjoying this NEW book that I'm writing. Maybe that is like writing a sequel. Interesting thought, Mary.
I find that even if I have been gone for only a few days, I always have to go back and read some of what I have written. The bigger the world, the more this is required. Sometimes I'll just sit down and start to read it aloud, to get the rhythm and the characters.
What Venus said! I like to read aloud… sometimes a few pages… sometimes a few chapters (or the whole thing).