The story so far

So, if this blog is really about the process of writing a novel, I should fill you in on what the story is so far. This is not a brand new story I'm writing here. The idea has been bouncing around my head for a good couple of years and I have a draft in progress at about 10,000 words strong.

Only problem is, I think it's on the wrong track.

When you're facing a novel at over 50,000 words, it is incredibly difficult to keep the simple point of your story straight in your head. You get lost in endless mirror maze of tangents and ideas that seem really cool at the time, but end up an albatros: the "darlings" that William Faulkner urges writers to kill.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not throwing out all the work I've already put in. More than likely I'll dip back into the good stuff I've already done as I need to, but I do want to make a fresh start free of the problems inherent in the existing text.

What's wrong with it? I think that stuff will become apparent as I go. I'm happy with my characters, they seem pretty well formed and three-dimensional, at least the primary four or five do. The main problem I had was that my characters seemed to be making an awfully big deal over very little. The events and their consequences seemed a bit...flimsy.

That may sound like a big deal, but it's not really. Story problems are easy to fix - just place your characters in more interesting situations. Characters that suck is a much more difficulty problem and one that affeects just about every existing word on the page. This is what happened with my last novel and I'll be damned if I'm going make the same mistake twice.

Famous last words if I ever heard them.