Time once again for IWSG, or as I sometimes think of it, another round of me whining about an issue I'm sure many of us have.
With the first draft of the plot for the sequel to STARWIND complete, I've been trying to figure out what to work on next. I have a bunch of different things I would like to do, but each one has its own little set of problems. So I find myself switching between them, sometimes two or three in one night, hoping I'll find something in my notes (or anywhere, really) that sparks my imagination and helps me realize how the story's supposed to go so I can shape it into a proper plot.
And so far, it's not happening. At all.
There's a story I plotted extensively before I started writing STARWIND, which even includes a rough draft of the plot and many pages of character notes. I read through it a while ago and no longer care to work on it; whatever drove me to write it is gone now. There's a set of ideas and visions that have been bouncing around in my head for a long time that I've been shaping, slowly, into something real, but it's like trying to herd flying cats with a hockey stick and my effort to write an interesting villain has led to one who could win in every possible situation. There's a weird new incarnation for an old idea that came to me out of nowhere this past Friday, and it's already mimicking its predecessors, as I can't figure out a thing beyond the first act. The chief plot device is also seriously problematic, making me wonder if the story is even worth pursuing anymore. And I don't even want to count all the projects I've made progress on and then not looked at for weeks or months or even years, completely unsure of how to make them work.
To be blunt, I'm in Plotter Hell right now. Not for the first time, and definitely not for the last. And it sucks every single time.
I try not to worry about it too much. I've learned (over and over) that it takes time for me to really put a story together, and that it's for the best if these things do take time. But it's frustrating to sit down to get some work done and just flip from one potential project to the next, adding maybe a sentence or two, feeling like none of it amounts to anything. This is the sort of thing that led me to take a weeks-long break last year, and even when I did that, I knew I had a working plot waiting on the other side. I don't have that now.
I have a lot of faith in STARWIND, but that's nothing new; I've had a lot of faith in everything I've tried to get published and none of them have ever worked out. So I know I can't just work on that would-be series and think it's all going to pan out. If that book doesn't work, then I'll need something else to work on, and when nothing is working, well, you can guess how that all pans out.
Advice is welcome, as always. >_< I'll keep scribbling down what I can when I think of it, and hoping that somewhere along the way, I figure out at least one thing that I can turn into a real story.