A major of part of the love/hate relationship I enjoy/loathe with writing involves the completion of a manuscript draft. Since the beginning of the year, when I retired from my other career, I have been writing a new novel…A Final Reflection…and finished the draft last Friday. I spent the next eight days poring over the pages, examining structure, plot and characterization; questioning word usage; and correcting errors of syntax, spelling and grammar. A printed copy of the draft work now awaits review by my in-house editor…aka spouse. She boasts critical reading and editing skills and spares me no observation when something makes no sense within my writing.
In the interim, I rewarded myself with a day off and then tunneled into the next book…another novel entitled Scenes From an Untethered Life. Reflection was told by a first-person narrator and Scenes is third-person, close-focus. The shift in perspective, rather than being awkward, has actually helped me focus on the new work so quickly after completely the other. The protagonists are also vastly different from one another…a warm-hearted man in his mid-sixties in one and a thirty-something bastard in the other. The contrast between the nature of the two characters challenges and entertains me.
I am amazed at how effortlessly I have set aside Reflection as I begin Scenes. I’d love to hear from other writers how they transfer focus from one project to the next.