When you've left a project fallow for an extended amount of time, how do you get back into it?
Do you dive in right where you left off, with no priming of the pump, working purely from memory with what and where you think you need to go?
Do you reread the prose you wrote and pick it up from there? All of it or just a scene or two?
Do you peruse notes and outlines first to get the juices flowing?
Something else entirely?
On another writing-related note, do those of you who are known for (or personally feel you have the knack of) writing relatable characters put yourselves in the characters' skin when writing? Do you visualize yourself as the character interacting with the story world? Can you put your finger on what you do?
This sort of roleplaying does not come naturally to me, and I constantly find myself distracted and pulled out of the "game" by my own wandering thoughts, leading me to the conclusion that this technique "just isn't me." I'd like to persist, though, and try to master it because I WANT to write characters that readers love to love and love to hate. Such roleplaying might be a good way to accomplish that.
I also wonder if I have a hard time doing it because I lack empathy on some level. Before I lead you to think I'm some kind of heartless monster, let me clarify by saying that I do feel for others and am able to understand their feelings. But it is easier when their situation is not connected to mine. When I'm involved, I'm too often concerned with and overwhelmed by Self. I usually have to have some distance before I can see the other side's point/feelings in a confrontation. especially when I myself have strong feelings or a sense of rightness. Are those of you who are better character writers, so to speak, more immediately empathic, perhaps?
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
And perhaps I should not be permitted to make blog posts when I'm sleep deprived. :P
*This is the resulf of discomfort--it's too hot--but also of writing. When my brain starts playing with words, sleep becomes elusive...