Death by Slow Brainstorming

I think my brain is on fire. Or maybe it’s been subjected to an acid bath of some sort. One way or the other, it appears to have melted (or dissolved) and is now dribbling out my ears.

All I wanted to do was come up with a plausible way to get my poor plot from the half-decent place I’d left it—some 70% of the way in—to the end of the book. Sadly, enough of the initial draft had been cut (with extreme prejudice—man, that was some bad stuff) that an entire new framework was necessary to bridge that gap. Otherwise, it would make no sense, in terms both of leaving the reader clueless and of having plot points crop up out of the æther.

So I’ve been sitting here staring at a newly blank page, trying to figure out what’s missing, what needs to be put into the rewritten chapter (and what can be put off until later), and how to present the information to the reader. Every time I think I have something, I realize it’s not enough, or it needs to be foreshadowed more elsewhere, or needs better development later. Mostly, I just feel like I’m not getting anywhere, and it’s doing me in.

In other words, I seem to be suffering death by slow brainstorming.

I did have one minor (major? intermediate?) breakthrough the other day. Now I know better how one antagonist faction plans to use my heroine for their own ends, realizing both their long-term goal and defeating the other antagonist faction. Their evolving interest in the protagonist makes more sense throughout the entire story now, which is fabulous. I feel like they’re finally ironed out now, and I might even be able to salvage most of what I had originally written of them for the climax and denouement, even though their motivation has changed drastically since I wrote it.

I’m still stuck, though, because Faction Two isn’t quite sorted yet. Their raison d’être hasn’t changed significantly since the beginning, which has made it challenging to integrate them with the various metamorphoses of Faction One. And, of course, there’s also the ubiquitous self-doubt: I haven’t figured out if this consistency means Faction Two was reasonably well-developed off the block, or they’re just stagnant.

Regardless, I still have at least one major plot point to reveal, and no idea how—or where—to do it. So I guess it’s back to the word mines for me. Oh, and watch your step there—I still haven’t cleaned up that puddle of brains.

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