I’ve plunged into Love Denied, my historical novel set in Regency times, and have found myself culling, reworking phrasing and adjusting pacing, not to mention sweeping out a surplus of pronouns. I’m surprised at that. I thought I was at the polishing stage.
Yesterday I took a break from the computer and sat out back watching my husband groom our little Lhasa Apso girls. We’ve been busy of late and he had not done it for a couple of weeks. They shed very little and a regular brushing usually takes care of the few strands nicely. As he dragged the comb through their coats, I was surprised that the teeth matted quickly with the blonde hair. It seems there’s a lot more there if you leave it for a time.
Like my novel. I finished Love Denied at the end of December. I left it for two weeks and then started revisions. I finished those in April. Then life demanded some attention and I took a break from writing. Coming back at the book last week, I thought I would do a quick run through for any editing oversights yet I am lingering, pondering, seeing things that I did not notice the last time.
I had been told by some very experienced writers to let it sit for a time. Impatient, bursting with ideas for another novel, I wanted to feel that Love Denied was truly complete before moving forward on a new project. A stubborn linear approach but a lifelong habit of first this, then that dominates my approach to all things in life. It is now clear that, like the girls’ coats, the longer you leave your work on the proverbial shelf, the more you are able to pull from it and the better it looks.
Seems I should listen to experienced writers…and continue to learn from my dogs.