Recently, I had to correct the mistake I made in leaving the notes I’d complied while rereading my stories ignored for up to five months. These are my editing notes: typos, poor word choice, missing words or explanations, those sorts of things. All of that I try and pay attention to when I’m reading so that I can help the editing process along. Rereading and editing is my process.
The danger in that, of course, is getting caught up in the stories again. I reintroduce myself to old friends, and the longer it’s been since the last time I read the story, the more I miss the characters.
Now I would love to tell more stories with all those old friends. It’s been too long, though, and I don’t mean just in the sense of how long it’s been since I’ve read the story.
I have this distressing feeling that I would not be able to capture the true essence of the characters after this long away.
Last time I tried to do something with Frankie and Rico from In the Family, Frankie was nothing like herself. Attempts at sequels for The Geek and the Fed and Tearing Down the Pedestals left me with two stories at the same time that were out of character.
On the other hand, I was able to pick up The Lady in Black, The Consultant and the Cat, and Criss-Crossed Paths after years of abandonment and finish them. I think the difference there may be that I had started them by hand, and I had to type them before continuing them, so the flow was still there, the mindset and understanding of the characters.
Starting the sequel to Tearing Down the Pedestals almost immediately after finishing it did not keep Chel and Tremayne in character, though.
So I’m not sure. I don’t know what that elusive quality is that would allow me to pick up where I left off with the characters (or even jumping ahead a little) and keep going.
I want to find it, though. I miss my old friends. I want to continue having adventures with them.