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I made a decision this week to complete a novel that, for several reasons, I stopped writing almost a year ago. I'm about two-thirds done with the first draft. I wondered if anyone else has been in the spot and how you got back into the characters and completed the work? I'd welcome any advice.

Thanks!
PJ
 

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I kind of did this myself, although it wasn't a full year. I think I set aside something I was working on for about six months. When I went back to it, I started out by revising the what I'd already written a few times, and by the time I finished, I had basically synced back up with it.
 

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All my three books are books I wrote between 4 and 6 years ago, but my writing has improved so much that it was easy to make the changes.

I still have 3 romances to edit but I'm finding them tough. Maybe it's because I've changed genre, not sure. I'm trying though.  ;)
 

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I'd really like to know, too.  Although most of my early novels were total crap that basically got tossed and never looked at again, there is one with some compelling characters that I'd like to come back to after I'm done with my other two series.  (So, basically, like 5 years from now. hahaha)  I'm terrified that I won't have figured out how to solve the plot hole I ran into that made me stop writing it in the first place.
 

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I'm sort of in that process right now... what I did (and am still doing) is printing everything out, looking over my notes, and reading as much as I can to get back into that mood of writing the story.  It's a bit of a pain right now - lesson learned I guess!  8)
 

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I have so many stories started, some over 7 chapters long.  I think they all have merit, but for some reason a new idea popped into my head and took me another direction.  I've found participating in NaNoWriMo helps me keep on track and actually finish the story I commit to working on.  Maybe it's the accountability?  I have no idea. Each year I go back to the other stories and see if one excites me again. Just keep moving forward.  That's the best advice I've ever received. :) 
 

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I did that to myself. Kind of. In Feb. I took a break from writing to promote my books. Then two months later I went to pick back up where I'd left off and I still can't finish the book. It's been almost six weeks and I've gotten nowhere.

It did help that I printed off all the pages leading up to where I left off and read through them to get a feel for the characters again, but I still don't feel I'm as strong connected with them as I was before.

This is a tough thing to do to yourself. I hope for your sake your book isn't part of a series that depends on a previous book or helps to set up the following book. Mine is and that doesn't make matters any easier.

Good luck.
 

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For work I've been away from a long time, I will start over and type it in again from the beginning. My writing really improves over time, and my tastes change as well, so I have to re-work the stories a lot to get to the place where I can continue on and (hopefully) finish it up. For long work, if I started it recently, re-typing the few last pages will do. Short pieces definitely get a complete rewriting.
 

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The novel I just sent to beta readers was started in November 2007, written to about 60K words, and then abandoned. Why abandoned? Mostly because it was *supposed* to have been a short novel (a Nano project) and it wasn't done by the end of November. Or December. I had a software (AKA "paying") project that I had put aside to do Nano, and I had to pick it up again. That took longer than expected too.

In November 2010, I decided the book should be un-abandoned. Because the idea was just too cool. :) So I did a read-and-edit through the 10 chapters already written. I went through the outline for the remaining chapters. I found my notes made when I was working on the story and read those. And then I just picked up where I left off. The story finished right at 100K words, then grew another few hundred words when I edited it before sending it out.

I don't think the "seam" between where I stopped and picked it up 3 years later is visible. But I guess I'll find out when the beta readers get back to me. =)

-David
 

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It's always hard for me to pick up where I left off if any length of time has passed since I last worked on a WIP. Awhile back I tried to finish a YA fantasy series I started years ago. It was terrible and I eventually gave it up. My writing has changed too much.
 
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