Have To Face It

Much to my consternation, I've finally denied the denial and have to admit that I have serious problems with the current novel-in-progress. At 72,000 words I had thought it was nearly three-quarters finished (first draft, at least), but I've come to the reluctant conclusion that it just isn't working.

Part of the problem (I think) is that I've chosen a fairly rigid structure for the entire narrative, with only two points of view, alternating chapter by chapter. Keeping track of the timeline within such a structure is proving tricky.

Another problem is that although I know how the novel will end, and the plot to date has progressed steadily towards that ending, the two main characters aren't in any kind of shape to reach that ending. I can't force them in a particular direction -- it simply isn't what they'd do.

Maybe I've grown too fond of them, and am unwilling to subject them to the necessary conflict that would precipitate the actions that will lead them to the desired conclusion. Maybe I should abandon the ending I've already mapped out, and accept that these characters won't arrive there after all.

Added to this is the preponderance of other ideas swirling around in my head -- but not for this novel. I have ideas, characters and plots for at least three other novels that frankly I'd rather be writing than the current project. My inclination is to go with the flow and put the current novel-in-progress on the back burner (even if it isn't full of mixed metaphors).

I've had a number of short-story deadlines over the past few weeks, which I've succesfully worked towards. I've told myself that such diversions are legitimate -- not just displacement activity. Now though, the novel sits on my hard disk, waiting for its next chapter.

And I don't want to do it.


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