I spend way too much time coming up with creative titles. I also spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to find awesome pictures to go along with those titles.
But I digress.
Today I pulled out my single printed copy of the first ten chapters of The Chains of Hethra. Between and during classes I found myself engrossed in a story I hardly remembered being this good.
It was a real morale booster.
A lot of you probably know, or have noticed, that I've done very little writing on TCOH lately. I'd been very discouraged about the story already and after my marching band season started I was far too swamped to convince myself that I was writing something worth reading and that I should keep at it.
So I didn't write. Not a word.
On one hand this was really awful. I'd planned to finish my first draft before summer was over. The idea was to edit all throughout the school year. Pretty good plan right? Finish the bulk of the intensive stuff and edit, which doesn't take nearly as much time per session, while I was in the busiest part of the year.
But I didn't.
So I got very far behind.
However, as I've been reading through my own novel I've realized that this long break from writing has helped in ways I couldn't have known before. I have a fresh take on the story (even though I still have future plot problems) and it actually looks good.
Don't know how many of you have tried writing a book. But after a while, you've written so much into it that it all just looks like garbage to you.
This break helped me see it with better eyes. And so I'm excited to write the rest of it.
So I'm going to be a major proponent of taking breaks, if anything from the project you're working on. Some people say to write everyday. That's cool, I don't do it, but at least trade off what projects you're working on. I myself find it very hard to simply plow through a manuscript--maybe I'm the only one.
Pros of Taking Breaks
- Encouragement/Motivation - When I read back through it, I was encouraged that this was a good story. And that gave me motivation to keep at it, which I don't get from many other places.
- Fresh Take on Characters and Plot - If you're having issues with the storyline (like I was) taking a break seems to help a lot. It frees your mind of all the useless fog and opens it up to the actual story. You see it from new eyes and can often make better guesses as to what will fit the story. Same goes for characters.
- Time to Live Life - Yeah, I needed some time away from the computer :-)
- Batteries are Now Ready to Go - Breaks are a major energy re-filler. Knock out another chunk while it lasts!
To the end,
PS: I just started using Gimp. It's AWESOME!