Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Back Into the Swing of Things

One of my many admittedly bad writing habits is the tendency to step away from projects in the middle of working on them. I've done this pretty much consistently through the entire time I've wanted to be a writer -- since about age 9 -- so I know it's something that I'll probably end up always doing unless I have a deadline looming down on me.

One of the things I notice in this practice is that I always have a hard time re-capturing the voice of the story I was working on; I'm seeing this with CALLARION AT NIGHT, which I've started working on again for the first time since about June, so it's a thought that's fresh in my mind. Moriah, that story's heroine, is a very distinct speaker when it comes to the way she talks and the way she thinks. I was well on my way to capturing her self-deprecation and cynical disregard for people in general when I paused working on the story in June, and I'm now finding that it's difficult to get back into her head really well.

I know it's going to take a lot of re-writing and character study to get back into Moriah's head again. She sounds and thinks a certain way that I have in my head (or think I do at any rate) that I need to represent effectively on paper; she's what's charitably called a "tough nut to crack." So it's going to take a lot more thinking like her to get that back on the page.

This all leads me to wonder how many of you have the same problem? Do you find it hard to step back into your character's shoes when you've walked away for a time, or is it like coming home again?


C. N. Nevets said...

I write in a voice-heavy first person POV most of the time, so usually after re-reading a few paragraphs, it's pretty easy for me to pick back up the basic character. The emotional investment, on the other hand, can be a huge challenge.

L. T. Host said...

I agree with C.N.-- writing in first person present makes it pretty easy to slip back into voice. But yes, I have feared losing the voice before after stepping away for a while-- keep at it, you'll get her back!

And: WOO HOO!!!!! I'm so happy to see you're writing again!

Susan R. Mills said...

Yes! This totally happens to me. I have to re-read everything I've written to even get close to getting back into my character's head after a break from him/her.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

It takes me a long time to find the voice of a character, but once I do, I usually have it for good. I think Callarion was in 3rd person POV? I can't remember, but writing a 1st person POV snippet usually helps me find that voice.

Good luck!