Music for this entry comes to us from U2, because I'm trying to light my own way and it's frustrating as hell. Or rather, I'm trying to find light several ways at once and just realized I'm using the same torch and... and the metaphor is breaking down.
I do a lot of plotting. I did that entry about being a plotter vs. a pantser a while back, so that's not new news, and it's nothing new at all for me to have three or four different plots at various points between "shiny new idea" and "make this a book now". And like most (if not all) writers, I have ideas and themes and stuff that I keep going back to because I find them fascinating.
The problem that came up a week or two ago was when I realized I was ripping myself off.
I've been plotting the sequel to Skyborne, currently titled Heartfire. ...even if I still think that one sounds a little too much like a romance novel. The word's important to the plot, I swear. Anyway, the basic plot of Heartfire involves travels to gather items to help a deity. I'd also been plotting something that, in my mind, would span an epic and warped trilogy that dealt with order vs. chaos and traveled across dozens of worlds and all the space between, only to realize that the entire plot of the first book could be summed up in one phrase:
"Travel to gather items to help a deity."
Not only was I repeating myself, I was working on two books with the exact same basic plot. I know that some say there are only five or six (or seven, the number varies) actual plots, but that's another discussion. This was crushing. This was the death of a book I was really, really looking forward to writing, one that I knew I couldn't do anymore because it was too much like another one.
In the time since then, I've chalked it up to just another part of the writing process, but now I'm thinking about this sort of thing too much. In tonight's plotting, trying to hash out an idea that I'm far from sure about but it's worth looking into, I couldn't help wondering if it was too close to Skyborne, in essence if not in execution. I quickly closed it off with a note to myself to "FIND THE FUCKING STORY" and moved on to another plot.
Yes, I swear at myself in my story notes. It's nothing new.
So, as it stands now, I've got two things to work on that are going well and the usual half-dozen things that might or might not work out. And then there's the one plot that I don't truly want to write because it hits way too close to home and yet it might have the best shot at actually getting published out of everything I've worked on.
Too much to think about. Too many questions. And I don't remember the last time I was this frustrated with what I love to do. Enough about this for now. Grr. Arg.