Probably the most apt title EVER.
I grasp for the outline. I seek the order of the mental story unfolding that has always been there for me. Yet, the chaos that is these characters mock me and dance across the outline willy nilly, spinning wildly with reckless abandon. (Yes, I did just type up a cliché there... sorry.)
Sierra holds on and I write a few of her scenes, not knowing what the hell Galleon said earlier to cause her response here, or Aleron's flirtation sometime in an earlier scene that caused her thought there. Then Aleron chitters, takes hold and off I go back two scenes and then skip forward several scenes (including one of his) to another and the confusion starts again.
This must be a little what pantsers feel like, I'm assuming. And as a lifelong, hardcore plotter this is not working for me. I tried to tell myself to go with it.
"Go with the flow AR. Just go with it."
But the more I wrote the more off the story has been feeling. Oh, yeah, there were moments that I knew were right, but overall it's been crap. Yeah, crap.
I know my characters but not the driving force deep within my characters. No, not their regrets, motivations, or inner demons. I know the overarching plot of the series but not the themes of this particular book that causes its particular story to be told along the bigger picture.
I can't write if there is no REAL reason for the story. Yeah, some of the scenes read cool, but that's never enough for me to continue.
So there I sat, glaring at the screen mentally cursing it, blindly threatening to delete the whole damn thing and trying not to let Mental AR cry in the corner of her Asimov-inspired writing room. The characters laughed gleefully at the empty threat.
"Screw this. Screw you," I declared in proper dramatic fashion.
Then I walked away. The character still laughed, but less hard.
I went to my room and laid down. The characters tossed nervous looks at each other.
I put on some stupid reality show which shall not be named for fear of losing your respect. The characters started whispering incriminations to each other.
I then fell asleep.
When I woke I was still frustrated but something niggled in the back of my mind. Mental AR was off somewhere in the recesses of it, where she'd sniffed something out in my subconscious and sought to capture it.
So, there I stood in front of the microwave, heating up a frozen burrito, and *snap* it all became clear. I snickered in evil victory. My characters gulped, knowing their reign over the chaos was over.
I started the damn story in the wrong place and with the wrong focus. The series is Interstellar Intelligence Agency (IIA), not Quantum Investigation branch, yet here I was trying to keep the focus on the quantum kinetics when this story is being told by another division of IIA, the Science and Technology Advancement (STA) branch.
Face, say hello to palm.