What’s Wrong With My Brain – Argh!

a scene from one of my drafts - no, it's not LOTR fanfiction
a scene from one of my drafts – no, it’s not LOTR fanfiction

That was … the title that came to my head. And yet I’m not actually that frustrated. I’m just a little worried. I can’t come up with a plot line I’m satisfied with.

Case in point – my WIP I call FS (fantasy story). It’s been stewing in my brain for maybe four years. I began plotting and writing years ago. I revised the plot numerous times. I wrote the beginning multiple times. I did worldbuilding.

Over the next few years, I made some drastic changes. Then, around March 2014, I got to work and wrote the whole thing. I gave it a reread later and promptly revamped the whole thing. I got stuck in a rut after 10,000 pages of the new draft and, while reviewing the plot, realized it just didn’t cut it. So – you know the drill – I plotted again and this time finished the thing in July.

And now I’m back to the drawing board.

I don’t actually mind doing this but I’m wondering just how “normal” this is. Should I be concerned that I’m forever changing the plot? Maybe I’ll never get a novel published at this rate? Let me give you an idea of just how much I’m changing it.

First it was about a fanatic and the displaced heir of the throne. There was eradication, multiple kingdoms, and magic jewels, and a frightening mentor.

Then it was a portal fantasy, with a science professor always causing trouble, a displaced heir to the throne, a fanatic merged with the mentor, and fire. Lots of fire.

Then it was an alternate world fantasy without magic, with an illegitimate child, an unhinged woman, a jail escapee, guerrilla warriors, a loud mouthed guard, treachery, and court sessions.

Then it was a fantasy with a dark brooding man, a murdered woman, revenge, spying, soldier training sessions, escapades, and plenty of death.

Now it’s a huge saga with tons of plot lines, love stories, and war.

But I can’t tell myself to stop being critical of my work and just write because I know my plot is not something I want to work with and I know it can be much better.

If it’s just my inner editor telling me all my work is trash, then that’s sad. But what can I do when I don’t have the passion? I do believe this is the only way I can go – the long long way paved with rows and rows of replotting, revamping, rewriting, revising.

It remains to be seen if I’ll ever write a draft I want.

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9 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With My Brain – Argh!

  1. I’ve been having this same problem. My best story (and closest to completion) I’ve ever drafted has had the plot and characters shuffled through so many sieves and rounds of revision, and I have no idea which plotline I like better anymore.
    I haven’t worked on it in a while, and hope that a several month rest period from it will allow me to come back looking at it with fresh eyes, since I’ve been story building and drafting it since Christmas ’12.

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      1. I rather like long books, actually – for instance, LOTR, Les Miserables, and East of Eden. Unfortunately, they’re hard to get published for newbies so I probably don’t have a chance if I try to query a tome.

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      2. I love long books as well. If it doesn’t have either a) length and plot twists or b) thought-provoking problems, then I might read it once, but never again.
        I know… *sigh* It’s going to be hard to cut my current work back to length…. there’s so much that I can tackle in it!!!

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  2. This happens to me all the time — don’t worry about it, I think it’s perfectly normal. Very frustrating, especially when you put the time and effort into something only to find that it’s just not working, but keep trying to find that right plotline. It will come eventually. Another idea might be to give it to someone to read — that way, they can point out the faults in the storyline, and from that, you may be able to come up with something that works.

    Good luck!

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