Regarding the care and feeding of stories.
Do not abandon them for years, and then try to go back and finish the story. Not if you’re like me, anyway. It’s been a struggle to write as I get to the finale, and I’ve been trying to figure out why. Is it standard ‘this is all crap’ inner dialogue, that hits so many of us at this point? Was it that the original story was weak, and I hadn’t realized it? Or was it just a general wear down from writing a lot with higher expectations?
It isn’t all the standard mid-nano breakdowns, and it isn’t that the original story is weak. And while the desire to finish one god dammed novel is definitely been a part of the problem, it wasn’t really that, either.
I’m not the person I was 7 years ago when I first started this story; it’s a decent enough story, and if I could have stuck to the original ending and character arc, it would have been fine.
But I couldn’t maintain the tone and direction that came with the original intent. I’m a different person now, with a changed perspective, and with different goals as a writer, with more experience as a writer too. So I tried to change the tone of the novel, but without (and this is important) changing the character or the initial plotline.
And the dissonance, between what I want from the character versus how she was designed, has grown to the point where I am looking at where I’m at, and not wanting to continue. Not because I don’t have the plot in my head, but because continuing to drive the original main character to do things she wasn’t built to do is making it worse.
The original main character is a lovely girl, but she’s not a hero. I’ve written posts about what traits the MC should have, and the reality is that she doesn’t have them. I’ve been adding them after the fact, but it’s been like putting clothes on a cat, and calling her Mary. It doesn’t alter the cat at all, and eventually she slides out of them*.
I’m not giving up on nanowrimo. I’ve only failed once, and that was due as much to being back in college as anything with the writing.
I just have to decide. Start from scratch, reinvent the story (I have ideas on this), keep slogging along (which will be difficult) or pick a random story idea and start writing that.
I’m going to pick something tomorrow, and then we’ll see how it goes!
*A cat would also scratch and bite, but that’s not at all like my MC, lol.