fantasy · work in progress · Writing

Mid-Book Freakout

I am not sure I’ve ever blogged about the novel in progress before, but I am a quarter of the way through the novel in progress and I am freaking out. I’ve slowly come to realize that it is not working.

Not the characters, they are fine. Strong. In fact, the are so strong they are all insisting on their own little plots. Which means I now I have too many little plots. There is a romance one, the family one, the one involving his bosses and his own little sub plot involving the past. Than there is the main one which was supposed to be mysterish – a murder, maybe a kidnapping. On top of that, there is an overarching arc that I don’t have a firm grip on. So. There is just too much stuff. Too much going on.

I think I could write a lot of different stories about the characters. I could write:

(1) a romance. Several romances, in fact, one involving his sister, another about his father and one about him. Plus other characters. That’s at least three books!  Maybe as many as five or six. I’ve read plenty of romances, but never had an urge to write one, let alone half a dozen.

(2) something on politics. This would involve the family and bosses and multiple viewpoints. My main character would no longer be my main character. I think the focus would shift to the father.

(3) the mysterish urban fantasy I had originally intended to write.

I still want to write the urban fantasy I had intended to write originally. But I think in order to do that, I need to scale back on all the other elements. The romance, the relationships, the stuff involving politics. I can develop his romance more slowly, put it back at a point where he is not seeing so much of his lover. Same with his family relationships and maybe take a different angle on the politics, one that will allow me to show there really are people out to get him.

But all that means I have to go back to page 1. Almost everything I’ve written so far (thousands and thousands of words. weeks and weeks of work) has to go. Which is why I am freaking out.

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7 thoughts on “Mid-Book Freakout

  1. I know that’s hard. I worked on and had to stop two novels for that very reason. I would give you advice, but I don’t have any. (Sorry)

    When I tried writing a nonfiction book, I managed to finish it without it over-growing on me. Now, on novel number three, I seem to be able to control the different factors a little better.

    Maybe it just takes practice…

    1. Yeah, practice is probably key. After a while you probably figure out when to give your characters their head and when to reign them in.

  2. My advice is to keep what you’ve written but start a new document and write the book you want to write (#3) for now. Everything you’ve written has 100% helped & informed you, so it’s not a waste a tall. I wrote almost 100 pages of my current WIP that helped me world-build in my head, but didn’t help the story at all. Can’t be included in the MS, but still fits in my brain map! I go back sometimes and pluck direct lines and descriptions out, too. It’s nice fodder 🙂

    1. Yeah, that is what I am doing. What I will do, rather. First, an outline. The first serious outline I’ve ever done. I should blog about that.

  3. This happened on my first attempt. I set it aside in favor
    of working on some genre fiction (scifi), thinking that would be
    “easier”. Ha. 10 years later, the first attempt is still collecting
    dust, but God willing, I’m not done with it. There was so much
    going on that I realized I could potentially expand it into a
    series. I had created a town, pretty much, with a big cast of
    characters. They were interesting characters and they had a lot of
    interesting things going on individually, but I couldn’t tie them
    together into an overarching plot.

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