Tuesday, June 19, 2012

WHEN YOU LOSE TOUCH

As you know, I am dying to hear back from a literary agent about my partial manuscript. But, when I decided to start editing my second book, which follows on the first, I found it impossible to connect with the characters or the story.

Don't get me wrong, I love my characters. I have spent two years working on them. But then I have also spent another year working on other stories in the meantime. Now I have the trouble of getting back in touch with characters that I have already decided to forget about, because I thought that nobody was interested in them or the story any more. After all, I have a ton of rejection letters saying so.

So now I am wondering, how do I get back in touch with my characters to write the second draft of the second book. Right now I feel like I don't know them and I have no connection to what I had written previously. I have been emotionally shoved around and around and now I don't know which end is up, when it comes to my novel writing.

I think I just need to read through it and figure out what is going on. Maybe I just need to spend some quality time with these impossible characters. If I must be honest, I think they are giving me the silent treatment.

15 comments :

  1. I just read the last post too - congratulations!

    My advice on reconnecting would be to read the first MS again - start back at the beginning. Chances are you won't have to read the whole thing, but that's how your readers will get to know the characters so it should help the flow. I hope that helps!

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  2. I agree with Annalisa. Sit in a comfy chair with your feet up and read your first ms. Ideas will flow if you take the pressure off yourself.

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  3. Annalisa - Thank you! This is really great advice, which I will definitely use. Thank you again.

    Tonja - Thank you so much. This sounds like a good plan too.

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  4. Congratulations on the good news from the previous post!

    With regards to the first ms, as the other commenters said, don't stress. Relax. I'm sure you'll work it out!
    As for stubborn characters, you show them who's the boss! It IS your story after all! LOL

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  5. I never would have thought about this. I don't write fiction so I haven't experienced this kind of disconnection. I do know that there is a time for everything and that if we are feeling disconnected from something or someone we love, we might just need to find a new spark to reconnect. Good luck.

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  6. Michelle - Thank you. I will try it. Great advice. Thanks again.

    Jaime - This sounds like a good idea. Thank you.

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  7. Yep, the best thing you can do is read through your manuscript and get yourself reacquainted with the story and the characters. You won't be able to do anything else with it until you do that.

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  8. Murees, I feel we develop a relationship with our characters and when we leave them for awhile - two years in this case - we grow and become involved in other things and so do they. You can't reconnect with them because you don't have the same "relationship" with them as you aren't the same person you were when you created them. I am going through this right now only my separation is longer and what I have found helps is you have to reacquaint yourselves, read through the pages and pages of notes that didn't make it into the story and try to reconnect. Don't push it or them, just take your time. Work on what makes you happy. There is always the possibility that you may have to let them go, just like any other relationship. Characters, like people, don't always stay in your life.

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  9. Lynda - Thank you so much for advice. I will definitely try it.

    Nancy - Thank you so much for the great advice. I think I just have to take my time reacquainting myself with them, as you have said. Maybe I am trying to rush things. Thank you again. Reading my old notes sounds great too.

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  10. What wonderful news! My fingers are crossed for you!

    Maybe you need a different approach. Maybe write a letter as your character to a friend or relative of that character to try and catch them up on what's been going on. That way you are talking in their POV and reminding yourself what it's like to be in their shoes.

    I hope you find the right combination!
    Heather

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  11. That's great that you have interest! I haven't been in your shoes yet regarding the second book, but I think it just takes re-reading a few times to get reacquainted. Good luck!

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  12. Heather - Thank you so much and that is awesome advice.

    Nancy - Thank you! I will definitely do that.

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  13. Congratulations on the partial request! Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

    I would probably give the whole first book another read through. A proper connection with them will help you no end with the second manuscript. I know it will take several hours but it will probably be worth it just for the connection.

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  14. Congrats on the partial. Do you have fingernails left. I'd have already chewed mine down to nubs. Keep us updated and my fingers are crossed for you:)

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  15. Rebecca - Great advice, thank you.

    T C - Thank you! I am not sure how I am still calm, but for now, the nerves are still holding. Thanks.

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