When you put a story aside for a few months or even years does it stay in your head? Then when you take it out and reread it, has it changed? I mean changed from what you remember? Mine certainly has. It’s not as riveting as I had it in my mind. That’s definitely not good, but at least I recognize it. I didn’t while I was hammering the story out on the keyboard.
Also I’m having some trouble making my MC older as I change the book from a Middle Grade to a YA. I keep thinking of him as 12 and have to sit back and try to visualize him as the 16 year old I want him to be. The interesting thing is that I know who he used to be, almost as if while the book was in the closet, the kid had a few birthdays. I can refer to him in ways I couldn’t before, like, bring up habits he had when he was younger or mention how different his tastes are now than a few years ago. This is another interesting development that leads me to think marinating a manuscript has value.
Well, marinating an author helps too, so it’s a two way street. Take a look at what WRITERJENN has to say about finding depth in characters as a writer matures. She refers to TABITHA’S WRITER MUSINGS, and when I read both of these, I thought, “We’re somewhat the same page at the same time.”
Speaking of marination . . . Since I tucked that other YA I was so passionate about a few weeks ago into a folder, it’s been rattling around in the back of my brain and the MC keeps crooking his finger in my direction while I’m making my way through a day. Another good reason to set a WIP aside and ignore it a bit? Maybe my characters are competing for my attention and will help me out if I give them some. Just a minute! I’m busy. Be right with you.
C. Lee McKenzie says
Thanks all. I may become a bit of a split personality before all of this over. That should be interesting.
Julie Musil says
MC's competing for your attention! I love it. They can do tricks and see who wins you over.
I think it's fascinating that the MC had a few birthdays while he was tucked away. Maybe he's telling you his 12-year-old stuff was actually backstory?
I love that your characters are competing for your attention!
I am changing my chapter book to an MG, so I have to picture my main character differently too. I am off to check out those links. Thanks!
Jemi Fraser says
I've got an ms marinating too. I'm not sure what I'll think when I take another look at it 🙂
What a great concept!! Marinating, slow-cooking, etc – all those things apply so well to writing. 🙂 Great post!!