after the holidays

Picking up the threads of a story is difficult after a holiday. Here’s four suggestions for making it easier:

Read. Read through a couple of chapters just before where you’ll start. Read slowly, letting the characters, the voice, the tone overtake you again. Remember what you were thinking or doing when you wrote the chapters.


Mark up. While you’re reading mark up the chapters for line editing. For me, line editing is a way to make myself pay even closer attention to the writing, which helps me get back into it.

Free write. Another method I’ve used is to free write something from the point of view of the narrator. Write about a memory of a holiday, or of a sports game or of a song once heard that lingers on. Be specific, grounding the scene in specific sensory details. It doesn’t matter if you eventually use this scene, the point is to get back into the story’s voice with something that may or may not get used.

Type. Retype a chapter. Again, this is a simple technique to force you to read every word in the story, and not skim. You need this kind of in-depth re-immersion into the story in order to pick up the same voice.

How do you get back into a story after a break?