No, it's not another post about me failing at something. :P
I've been working on the metal fantasy plot, but that screeched to a halt this past weekend. This is nothing new, but I still started to worry. If I had a room in my apartment for every plot I've had crash and burn, I'd have enough space for an actual library, to say nothing of the guest rooms, home theatre, gaming room, swimming pools, hot tub, gym, walk-through aquarium, and ball pit.
...oh, like you wouldn't have a ball pit.
Yes, my hard drive is littered with the scraps of stories that could have been. It's nothing new. But it's more difficult to realize that something isn't working when it's a story I really want to work. It's also difficult not to panic when it happens.
I think this is something we've all dealt with. Pantser or plotter or anywhere in between, we all know the unfortunate realization that whatever we're currently working on Does Not Work, and we have to figure out what to do with it. This is a bit easier when it's a plot instead of a story, as it's easier to shrug off a few dozen pages' worth of work than a few hundred pages' worth, but it amounts to the same thing.
So, what do you do about it?
The first thing I do is figure out what the actual problem is. I go over the work in my head, and see if I can spot the glaring issue that's keeping me from making progress. In this case, it's because the plot has no twists. It's incredibly straightforward - heroes gather, determine what must be done, set forth on their quest, and achieve what they set out to do. NASCAR races have more turns than this plot, even if those are all to the left. And that's what got me.
A plot without twists of any kind is, I believe, a boring one. And if I'm bored by my own plot, it's a damn safe bet that anyone else will be.
Rather than fret about it, I did the sensible thing and set it aside. I have no shortage of ideas and plots-in-progress, and the work I've done over the past few days on another story has been a great deal of fun. The story's heart is a race/scavenger hunt between worlds, and the characters have so many other people working against them that I might determine who's coming after them next by rolling dice. And if it works out, I get to write another interspecies romance, so yay. ^_^
As for the twist-less story, I'm not worried about it. I know that at some point, probably when I least expect it, I'll realize what I need to do differently. Or I'll come back to it, in a week or a month or whatever, reread the plot and see what needs to be changed. It's happened before, it'll happen again. (Hell, it might have happened when I was thinking about it while shaving this morning.)
If nothing else, remember this: when things stop working, they'll start again. Maybe not today, maybe not next week, but someday. What matters is that you don't let it stop you.
Next week might be something suitable for Valentine's Day, if everything goes well. Granted, I don't like Valentine's Day, and I've learned not to count on everything going well, so who knows what's going to happen. :P