I was going to post in Velka's thread of similar title, but this rant got to the point where it might be derailing, and it looks like Velka's come to a decision in that thread anyway, so why not a new discussion. If there is any--I'm not really asking any questions because holy crap, have I made up my mind. This isn't meant to be a rebuttal or anything! I think all of the stuff in that thread was highly valid to V's situation; it's just that I'm over here in a very different situation. Like maybe we could've planned this out as a foil, shedding clearer light on the writing process through contrast... Anyway. I know I've whined around the forum before about having difficulties writing Wildwitch, my WIP not-novel. On Monday, Recharge-your-novel February started up, and I dutifully dragged the old witch out of the closet and wrote a respectable amount from wherever I'd left off. And I realized just how much I hated the story. I didn't like the scene I was working on, and I didn't like the one that had come before that. And it didn't seem like there was anything good on the horizon for ages. So on Tuesday, I finally gave up, and decided to stop writing Wildwitch for now, or at least stop considering it my main writing priority. I figured that even if this wasn't a good decision, maybe I'd get scared of trying a new project and come back to it with better appreciation. It was a weight off, immediately, and the creative sap started flowing to the brain again. I started thinking about the ideal story for me to write--not next, but now. Shorter, simpler, more tonally consistent, more deeply felt. I took Wildwitch and pared it down to only the things that I love, and tried transplanting it. I went back to the fairy tales and Celtic myth that had originally inspired it. I threw out everything that had bogged it down, pulled the plot from a tangle to a single thread. Characters and conflicts that I'd thought of later and had been relegated to the sidelines became central, because they were more compelling than the original conflict. Wednesday night, I tossed and turned until 3 am because my brain wouldn't rest without nailing down the basic story. Without music, too. Kinda would've been good to get some sleep. It's really starting to take shape now. I have the bones of an outline, and I'm hashing out the hows and wherefores and figuring out new characters and the new faces of old characters. And it feels great. It feels like the story Wildwitch was meant to be, and better. The thing is, I worked on that WIP for four, almost five years. I'd written 120k, through combined and almost entirely exclusive drafts. But I hadn't finished it--I'd never even gotten halfway through the plot. I was feeling really awful about it, and I blamed myself, blamed my work ethic and my wordy style. But there were also really deep and structural problems. The plot had germinated during a NaNo, and in the following years just collected more and more subplots and characters and front-end exposition baggage. It wasn't well-planned, and in the absence of plotting, my purple-prose vines had really colonized the garden. I didn't want to give up on the project. You always hear that finishing things is incredibly valuable, and while that's true...sometimes big projects are going to be learning experiences and not The Story that Goes Somewhere. Maybe when you're starting out, it's okay not to finish things. To let things go when they start turning brown and curling up at the edges. (Please don't count the metaphors in here, I know it's an issue. I know.) I'm going to be outlining for a while; I'm going to be tuning that plot until it sounds nice when I flick it. I'm going to be focusing on setting the foundation for something good, rather than building haphazardly all over the place in order to get words down. I'm not going to be settling for the first thing I get attached to. I'm also going to try shaking things up and not writing from the beginning to the end in full-render prose, but instead writing some exploratory scenes before everything's nailed down, just to get in on that extra world- and character-building stuff that you can only get from nosing around in the writing. Who knows how it'll turn out, really. It feels pretty dumb to be talking about this like I've achieved something, because I haven't even put an in-scene word on the page. I know the initial inspiration will fade and it won't be kick-in-the-stomach exciting anymore, and I know that my work ethic and consistency is a huge issue (to borrow from Velka again, creative ADD is written on my forehead) and my style needs to be pruned constantly. But I'm finally looking forward to writing what's ahead of me. Oh Lord, sorry for the massive splurge of personal text. Really needed to vent, because it feels remarkable, like I've made more writing progress this week than I have in the last two years. Alright, that having been said, I'm sure I'll find some way to cock it up. Carry on!