Now that Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up, and I'm gearing up to finish my NaNo 2013 novel during the April session, I'm working on doing the planning so that I'm ready to start writing on April 1st. And I'm finding that the hardest part about picking up where you left off is figuring out where you left off.
I haven't thought about my novel in months, so the trail is about as cold as it could get. I don't remember a lot of the details of my outline, or where I was in creating a timeline for the novel in Aeon, or what changes I wanted to make to scenes I had already written. Luckily I have notes for quite a bit of that -- though not all of it, and I'll have to go through the novel's scenes in Scrivener to find the notes I do have.
My plan for getting ready before camp starts -- and I have ten days to do this -- is to skim through my novel, my research, etc., while going through what I had of my timeline so far, and try to figure out where I was by double checking what I'd already done. If I've forgotten things, hopefully that process will jog my memory.
It is all too tempting just to put the entire project aside and get back to work on Ruby Ransome, but I don't want to do that. I don't want to leave the project unfinished, especially since it was going fairly well until I got burnt out on my 10k day to finish NaNoWriMo. I have let myself quit many a novel because I lost the trail, but since I've been taking my novel writing more seriously the last few years, I don't want to let myself do that anymore.
When you leave something to sit for too long and lose the trail, how do you pick it back up again? What do you find works best for you?