I seem to be pretty good at stories but absolutely dismal at storytelling. There's a huge difference between the two, and no good novel has just one or the other. You need a good, solid story told well to succeed. One or the other just isn't enough.
And that's been my struggle over:
- The last year
- The last three years
- The last twenty years
Lots of ideas. No idea how to present them. My drafts are nothing more than plot tent poles but without the tent. What this means to the layman is: they're boring, they're wordy, and they're nothing no reasonable reader would want to spend five minutes on.
Not exactly the recipe for success, no?
So last week I picked one manuscript, Winter's Gate, and decided it needed a reboot. I hadn't touched it for five months and of all the works in progress, this still seemed like it had the most potential.
So I spent some time this weekend trying to pick it apart, save the good stuff, throw out the bad, and figure out how to best get from Point A to Point B. But after two days, I once again was left with nothing. This is the kind of thing that will drive me back to Cheez-Its.
But then, about two hours ago, something happened. Have you ever spent days and days and days working on a puzzle but simply cannot see the solution even though you know it's right under your nose? Miraculously, that's exactly where I was. And then it hit me. Why is it the hardest puzzles can suddenly look so mind-numbingly stupid once you have the answer?
So I'm fairly fired up about this. If I don't screw this up again, I may have a shot at a decent plot. This reboot is now officially underway.