I have heard many authors say that prior to editing something, you should put it aside for a period of time first. That way you are coming back to it with fresh eyes.
I’ve used that technique myself successfully many times but only ever on a finished project. Today, I had the opportunity to pick up something I had worked on a couple months ago but not completed.
I decided to reread what I had already written so I could more easily pick up where I left off.
The first thing that hit me was, the writing was better than I remembered (don’t you love when that happens?). The second thing was I discovered a way to enrich the story considerably by moving a few chapters closer to the end of the story. Doing so will keep the story moving at a brisk pace, introduce another major plot element and allow the story to finish more strongly.
Fresh eyes for the win!
It also got me excited about the story again. That’s largely because I had written the story to the point where it was thoroughly plotted and then kind of ran out of gas. I knew what I wanted to do in the second half, but I had written faster than I had story ready. I needed time to process the ideas so I could write something good.
Now I know how I’m going to do that.
Do you let your work rest before finishing it? How does that work for you?