I’m notorious for jumping ship whenever a story becomes complicated. Friends ask me frequently how a story is going and my blood goes cold.
“Oh,” I think, “just imagine a sinking boat that suddenly catches fire only to be extinguished by a humpback whale, leaping from the water and crushing it into splinters with its girth. That’s how the story is going.”
I frequently write myself into corners.
I create plots that are too complex to unravel.
I design characters that don’t do what I want them to do.
Then there’s the constant feeling of being adrift at sea, wondering “now what?”
Creating an outline works for about a day. Then, my brain throws something else into the mix that creates a disastrous domino effect.
I reread the manuscript for a novel I’ve been working on since January and made the decision to abandon it. I consider this an accomplishment since I deserted it after completing the first draft in its entirety rather than rewriting a specific chapter ad nauseam as is my custom.
I decided to begin again on a manuscript I discarded a year previously. I think the premise is still solid and the characters, once fleshed out, will be interesting and memorable. It will require quite a bit of plotting and a great deal of motivation.
Oftentimes I lack the latter because I lack the former.
I have confidence in the story. Maybe I just need more confidence in my abilities.
If I keep a steady course, perhaps this will be the one that makes it into port.