That’s how long I’ve been trying to figure out the problems with my story. It’s infuriating. It’s mind-numbing. It chips away at those feelings of accomplishment I had from completing a first draft. The story is still broken. I’ve given it a go, at least three times, only to scrap it again and start over. I feel as if I’ve finally figured it out. This is it. This was the problem. I’ve fixed it. But no, I haven’t.
What I’ve slowly come to realize in my months of revising and outlining is that I have two stories. One involving my main character, struggling with change beyond her control. The other, is a story that throws the main character into a new world with lots of exciting characters. The problem is that they aren’t the puzzle pieces I once thought. There’s no amount of rotating the pieces to get them to fit together. I’ve realized that I can’t have both. I have to choose. How can I have a character struggling with changes she can’t control if I put her in a setting where no one knows her and no one sees these changes? There’s no stakes. No conflict. No story. So I’m taking that awesome world and I’m setting it aside. It’s painful and I desperately love it but I think it’ll be an excellent starting point for another book I can write. And for now, instead, I’ll focus on my changing MC.
So now, the outline begins again without the restrictions of forcing two odd pieces together. And hopefully, this time, something will click.