One of the most important elements in drafting and revising a manuscript is the gift of time. In the beginning, it’s having the time to play with ideas and experiment with words as a story starts to come together. In the revision stage, time gives a manuscript breathing space and room to grow into what it’s meant to be. I find simply having my project at the back of my mind in the hours that I’m not writing lets the story percolate. (Am I the only one who thinks of the brain as a brewing coffee pot?)
Sometimes it’s simply the passage of time that is most important. Perhaps I hear something on the news or have a conversation with a friend that plays into the work I’m doing. Or maybe it’s through reading or thinking or going on walks — all things that take time — that I grow as a writer alongside my manuscript. Time shows me if the idea I had today still hold strong tomorrow. Returning to the writing day after day lets me make connections I might not otherwise see.
I’ve been given months to revise during first-round edits of my next book, The Burning Season. My understanding of Opal and her world has changed so much in the weeks I’ve been working. Crunch time will come with this manuscript when production and publication deadlines loom. But for now I’m so grateful to sit with the story, to trust that solutions will eventually arise if I am given the time and make the time and let time pass as it does anyway.
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