Set Aside Your Draft Revisited
Damn. That is just damn good advice from Matt Bird, screenwriter and author of The Secrets of Story. Setting aside your draft, I mean. I attempt to do this quite often in the writing process nowadays, basically about every time I've finished a draft. It’s incredible how crappy my writing reads after sitting for a few weeks. I just did this on the novel-length WIP I recently finished. Boy, did the typos jump out! More worryingly, the dialogue, that I always thought of as very good, didn’t seem quite as sharp as before. I don’t think I’ll write an entirely new draft at this point, but surgical editing of the dialogue, especially in the later chapters may be warranted.
I’m not just using this technique on my novel-length WIP drafts. I’m also doing it on my initial outline of my new YA sci-fi WIP. I think it helps make the deficiencies in the plot jump out – repeated scenes with different characters, etc. Also, I’m shelving a completed short story for the time being with the hope that time will bring a fresh perspective that will get the tale shipshape. Anyway, this technique has worked for me, maybe it can work for you too.