Well, I've thrown in the towel. The Novel-In-Progress just ain't working. I asked my bloggy friends for Help a little while ago, and you lovely lot confirmed what I already knew in m'heart of hearts. My plot - which seemed nothing short of brilliant at the moment of conception - just didn't have legs. Well it did, but they were short, hairy little buggers, not capable of offering much in the way of support. A further thrashing out of the finer points with Lovely Husband was the final nail in the coffin. 'It just doesn't sound interesting enough,' he said thoughtfully, and I couldn't argue with that. He's never wrong, annoyingly.
Plotting is a real weakness of mine. It's frustrating. I have a vivid imagination, and I KNOW a good story when I read one, and I read a lot, but while I get lots of Ideas (thank goodness I do...otherwise I might as well give up and train as a plumber - which would actually be really useful because we've just paid a fortune to have our shower fixed. I'm sure the chap just picked a sensible figure out of the air and quarupled it. Since it was put about that plumbers are rarer than hen's teeth, round here, they've started swanking about thinking they own the planet, and they could probably afford to...not that I hold a grudge or anything)...anyway, I digress. To the point where I've forgotten what I was babbling about. Oh yes. Ideas. Plenty of 'em. Trouble is, I can't seem to sustain them. I chuck all these balls in the air, think up some clever plot twists - even work out roughly how it will all end, then somehow everything topples down, like a house of cards, and that's when I start editing and tweaking and fluffing endlessly, trying to avoid the truth, because I know it's all going to end in tears. Mine. Well, not literally. I've toughened up a lot since an agent told me the plot of my First-Ever-Novel was 'tired.' I know how it felt.
I've had a lot of feedback over the last couple of years...mostly 'cos I kept sending that damn manuscript out like a matchmaker trying to fix up a difficult friend. I can write, apparently -unless those replies were the equivalent of that oft'used breakup line "look it's not you, it's me." There's nothing wrong with m'pacing, structure, dialogue or characterisation, it would seem. But those are as nothing, without a decent plot. You might as well try and bake a cake without using butter. Or flour. (With my track record, you'll know that I already have).
Anyway. It's really hard to chuck out what you've already written, which is why I carried on worrying away at it. In the process, what's actually happened is I've wittled my first two chapters into a New Story. Yes. I have another Idea. This one, dare I say it, seems to have better legs. Long and sinewy. Lightly tanned. Toned, even. Unlike my own. Not thoroughbred racehorse, exactly. More well-bred greyhound. It might even go the distance.
I won't hold my breath though. With my luck it'll keel over the minute the gun goes off.
(I plead guilty m'lud, to a blatant overuse of analogies in this post. Please don't fine me. I've had a plumber in recently...)