I’ve long had a problem with finishing my stories. Whether short stories or novels, I start out white hot, stumble into mediocrity, and eventually move on to something else that excites me. I think I’ve mostly overcome that now with concerted effort and setting my word goals last year. But it still rears it’s head from time to time, like the WWI novel I’m now working on.
What I think I’ve realized is a stumble into a section that’s not working the way I hoped it would and, faced with the idea of re-writing it (later, if not sooner), I start balking at continuing entirely. Right now I’m introducing various chapters that include the Texas wyvern riders, and I’ve started to realize there’s another way to deal with it. A way that might be better for the story. But this time around, I’m not quitting the work and moving on.
Instead, I’m taking a very different tack with this novel compared with the previous two. Because there are so many characters spread out over various parts of the world (it is a world war after all), I’m taking the liberty to move onto another section. I started out writing a great deal from a young German man’s perspective. I carried his story from right after the assassination through to the days prior to Germany invading France. Then I switched to writing more about the English and their ministry of magic. Now the Texas wyvern riders. It’s a different concept for me since I tend to write linearly, but it seems to work in this instance. That’s probably due to so many different stories that can be told wrapped around this journey through a war of magic and technology.
I’m over 40,000 words now. Tomorrow morning I will switch focus again and deal more with the French response to the German build up. Bastion and his brother, Eoduard, are both soldiers for France and have key roles in the miliary. Bastion is a fighter, a knight who understands honor. Eoduard, though, is a magic using spy who infiltrates behind German lines to scout out information. I haven’t written enough about them yet and really want to get into the highlights of their dichotomy as brothers. Honor versus deviousness, for example.
Just write. Write until you’re done, even if it sucks. This will probably suck, but there will be lots of good pieces in it that I can construct the second draft around, that’s the key. The wyvern riders will get a re-write. When I’m done, a world will have sunk into bloody war. And we’ll see where book two takes us.