Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Sisyphus and the 2nd Arc

 This Week's Topic: On My Mind

On my mind this week is when to surrender to a WiP that just won't come together. Regular readers of this blog know I'm a skeleton plotter: Two or three bullet points per arc, per chapter to ensure I have a cohesive plot from beginning to end. 

What is currently plaguing me is that I have the 1st, 3rd, and 4th arcs mapped. I'm dying in the 2nd arc and have been for [mumble, mumble] far too long. The problem, of course, is if I don't have-- what I affectionately call-- "the arc of failures" mapped I can't claim to have the beginning or the end truly set either. Because the problems the characters face can change who is involved and how the ultimate goals are achieved, I have introduced a villain's pov, removed the villain's pov, added allies, removed allies, shifted the setting from mountains to a river valley, revamped the rules of magic more times than I have fingers and toes, and, well...

 [huff, huff]
[tantrum flails]
[frisbees notebooks, note cards, and laptooo--No, no, not the tech!]

I know full well I've wasted too much time trying to resolve this problem, which harkens to the classic decision point of knowing when to cut losses versus clinging with desperation determination to overcome the obstacle to savor the sweet, sweet joy of triumph. 

Dear readers, I am weak. I cannot quit this torment. Day after day I try coming at the problem from a different angle, a different POV, a different age, a different conflict, and yet... I am Sysiphus this second arc is my stone. 

[picks up notebook, starts writing in pen pencil with big eraser]