February draws to a close and the New Book’s first draft remains incomplete. In fact, two of the three chapters for it that I managed to write are probably destined for the trash bin. I’ve decided to push my timeline by a month and a half, using that half-month to address the issue that caused the delay in the first place.
At the end of the year, I had finished primary worldbuilding for the New Book. I was (and am) delighted with the setting and look forward to telling its stories and sharing them with you. I set to the task of writing an outline for the first story, which is when things started to go off course. There is a central question that drives the stories of this setting, a central question that instilled the desire to develop the setting in the first place. The outline I created lost sight of this central question, with only superficial and tangential connection back to it.
Furthermore, one of the central conflicts in the story — between a POV character and another main character — had mutated to the point that it painted the POV character in a deplorable light. What had once made sense instead rendered the POV character foolish at best and demographically insulting at worst. The conflict itself also carried unfortunate implications.
So, I need to go back to the drawing board. The setting is still solid and I now have a cast of partial characters1 about whom I want to learn more. In order to do the concept, the characters, and the setting justice, though, the whole plot needs a ground-up rethinking. I need to write a story I can believe in, not just pump out a story that I’ll reflect on with distaste, so that you–the reader–have an enjoyable tale at the end of the process.
- Note that phrasing: a cast of partial characters, not a partial cast of characters. [↩]