The story wouldn't leave me alone though. I'd be working on the new big piece or a short story, or running errands, mowing the ever-loving yard, or getting the old place ready to sell, and Spirit would ever so stealthily overrun my train of thought and take it for a ride.
Before we headed out for our new corner of the world, I started rewriting Spirit, from word one. By hand this time - the words are too slippery when I type them straight from my head; threads get dropped and too many characters ended up half finished. With a pencil in my hand, words more easily spin themselves, taking the story places I knew about in my head but hadn't actually considered putting down on paper.
Take my MC, for example. I've known her backstory from the get-go but didn't include it in the story. The problem was, I didn't realize just how much those early events influence the way she reacts to, well, stuff. Rewriting by hand, pieces of her backstory wove themselves into her present day, filling in a gap in her character arc that I hadn't realized was missing. Now, I see where she needs to go, what she needs to do.
It's going to take a bit more work - hell, a lot more work - than I was originally thinking when I started this rewrite in October, but it's going to make a significant difference in the story. The entire ending will change. What I thought was the end? Turns out, that's only the middle.
I'm off for now. Words to write.