I’m up to Chapter 43 of what is (at least) my seventh total rewrite of the novel I’ve been working on for several years. There are now 82 chapters. I keep starting over under the optimistic illusion that one of these times I’ll have enough momentum to barrel through the slippery patches of plot and arrive safely at my destination. THE END. The engine whines, the wheels spin, mud flies, I inch forward. It does not help when helpful friends state the obvious, I should make an outline. IF I HAD AN OUTLINE I WOULDN’T GET STUCK IN THE FIRST PLACE. No, this is not a case of the characters just taking over. How often one reads of an author claiming this happened in his/her book. Mine are more like those of a contrary author (can’t recall who) who said, my characters just want to sit on the couch and eat potato chips. (Sorry beloved folk of my novel, you’re not that bad but still.) Then there is the author who says, the story just wrote itself. There should be some kind of punishment for that.
It’s not hopeless. It’s getting closer, that thing wriggling just beyond my canines.