I’ve been struggling with the Children of Magic story since I began writing it. I thought I’d tackle this book with a new technique. After reading a book about plotting, I decided to completely plot out nearly every detail of the book and follow a traditional hero’s story arc.
And I ran into problems quickly, but kept plowing through. But when I reached a part where what I wrote didn’t match up what I’d plotted, I came to a dead end. And I realized that perhaps this kind of incessant plotting is good for me. I ended up not leaving myself much wiggle room and wrote myself into a corner. The entire process grew frustrating and I finally had to decide to take a break from the story.
It’s still a story I want to tell, but I’m going to take some time off and focus on the sci-fi Book of Revelations that I’ve been writing on and off for the past few years. I think I’m finally ready to start editing that book and perhaps even have it available for sale by the end of the year (or early next year). Focusing on that gives me some time off from the previous book so that maybe I can return to it at some point and not hate it so much.
Some authors can plot everything out. I’ve learned that I cannot. I still will use outlines, but I’ll make sure they stay more fluid in case my characters decide to do something that’s not accounted for. Because sometimes they do that. And that’s not something authors can control.
The process served as a good lesson, though, in what works for me and what doesn’t.