I have deliberately stayed away from my latest draft, letting life percolate through my awareness. A few people have given me cogent comments about it, and I have digested them in preparation for the next rewrite.
Today I begin. The first step is to go through every paragraph, tagging each one according to what event it is associated with. Some call this “chunking.”
That will help me create a topic outline, ordered in a way that flows as a story. I am continuing to read well-crafted fiction in an effort to sharpen my story sense. The manuscript I have now is more of a catalog of our lives than a story about them.
Some writers may prefer to keep their process a secret; I worked in collaborative groups for too many years to do that. Everyone sees the final product, so why be bashful about how it’s made?