I have been so, so, so stuck with Torn World. Not the whole world, but definitely with the over-arcing North-meets-South storyline. And my mire was basically holding everything up. And guilt over not figuring that out was keeping me from writing the fun things I wanted to.
See, I wrote a script for a graphic novel a hundred years ago. 2006 is a hundred years ago in Internet time. And Laura Melis, the amazing and talented, illustrated the first 11 pages. Four years later, I launched Torn World as a whole, and since then, we've added more than a thousand items. Not exaggerating! In the intervening eight years, the world went in directions I never anticipated. Part of that was the incredible creative team, and part of it was the fact that I was growing and changing as a creator, too - and there were a lot of the bits and pieces I never even thought about. It was exciting... but the graphic novel pages acted like a thumbtack - I had to take the story THERE, in exactly THAT way, because I didn't want Laura's work to go to waste. And as the world expanded, that staple point sort of buckled and warped. It kept the fabric of the world from lying neatly, and it started to make unsightly ripples out in every direction. I tried to write the things that came later in the timeline, hoping to skip past the problem spot and get enough momentum to come back and fill in the gaps. I was really happy with some of these future stories, but every time I approached closer to THOSE events, I balked.
See, that script I wrote? Frankly, it sucked. The pacing was wretched, the writing was stiff, the story was eye-roll-worthy, the characters flat. Nothing happened, everything was explained. I have, since writing it, improved drastically in crafting short stories. A few hundred thousand words of writing will do that. Editing another several hundred thousand words of writing will help a lot, too! I can't say for sure if I've improved in scripting, but I have at least advanced to the point that I recognize I wasn't very good. Laura did incredible things with the framework I gave her, and I still don't want her work to end up shelved... but I am going to release the ideas that were constraining me, outline what OUGHT to happen to connect all the dots, and salvage what I can of the artwork moving backwards from that.
And oh, the ideas that spawned.
Clouds parting and golden shafts of light from heaven-type-stuff. The muse sitting coyly in my lap whispering suggestions in my ear. Little fire ants of inspiration crawling up my legs and tickling all my skin.
Okay, some of those metaphors are more appealing than others, but they all apply.
I have some writing to do. And I am so excited to do it.