When you’re writing a story do you ever feel like you’re climbing a mountain and you’ll never reach the top. Maybe not, but right now that’s me. In 2009, I started a historical novel set in 1780. For months I read books about the time period. Clothing, food, housing, the Revolutionary War, the Indians, and more. I watched movies of the time, clipped pictures and made a vision board of the people and how they lived. Surrounded by months of research, I started writing the story. About halfway through I decided it wasn’t turning out the way I envisioned in my mind. So I put it aside to think about and come back to later.
Other stories took the place of my historical. I even forgot about it. Then one day in 2014, I was digging through ideas for novels I had jotted down and found the typed pages for my story that I had never even given a title. It was a shame to waste all those months and reading so many books. Could I get it right this time? Maybe. Maybe not. I’d never know unless I tried.
A change of characters, along with new names, reading through the original draft and deciding what to keep and discard, and I gave the story a second try. It was moving along slowly, so I decided to try something new to speed things up. Fast drafting. That seems to be working. The story is still a long way from being “finished” but fast drafting is letting me write ideas down. There will be revisions, of course, but this time I think I know where I’m going. My characters are cooperating better too.
Little Wolf, one of the new characters, told me she wanted to be in the story. She couldn't believe I left her out of the original. Neither could I.
Maybe five years ago was not the time for this particular story. I hope 2014 is the year I reach the top of the mountain. I'm climbing the mountain, one step at a time. The view looks promising. Oh, the story has a title now. OVER THE MOUNTAIN. It just seems right.
Have you ever put a story aside and come back to it years later? If so, did it work out better the next time?