After the typical summer hiatus I take due to camp charging headlong onto the scene with all the ferocity of a runaway train, I'm yanking and pulling at every creative thread I have to rekindle the fire of book 3.
I've said to several people that what I essentially had to do about two weeks before camp was pull the emergency break on writing and send everything to a skittering halt. And the worst part of where I had to basically smash the eject button was legitimately 5 seconds before the first major battle of the book. Like, I basically said to my characters, "Here's some impending doom to stew on for two months. See ya later!" and then ran away. I feel like I've been stuck in that moment just before the opposing sides meet in their clash. They're running for each other, arms raised and weapons drawn. And then they froze.
And I froze right along with them. With all of the apprehension and confusion and unknowns churning in my gut for the last two months, waiting for the resolution.
Because, as I've said before, book 3 is basically an entirely different story than it was in the first draft, I'm not 100% sure what some of my characters are going to look like when we catch our breath. I have a pretty good idea of who's fatally wounded and who's alright. But in just starting to propel the wheels forward tonight as we crested over the first half of the battle, I found myself dealing with an existential crises from more than one character.
All the while I've got these swirling images in my brain I'm working to pin down and determine which book they might belong in and some of these random little scenes might appear on this site one day rather than in the confines of a book. Not to mention I'm still working out details regarding both the history and the future of this world. Because I just didn't do a proper enough job world building.
Now, granted, I want to give myself a small pass in that, when this whole insane journey started, I was 19. I barely knew my right from my left and my up from my down. And I had next to no proper concept on how to world build. So despite the fact that we're over the decade mark (oh goodness gracious that feels sickening to say), and yeah I've already written draft 1 of the books, they're all wrong 'cause I didn't do the world building.
So while I might have some semblance of a concept on how to write a story, it's a shoe-string sort of ability that seems to rely pretty heavily on duct taping and reshaping later.
I've always been a subscriber to the belief that editing can always happen later. Just get the story on paper and get it out of your head. It's how I managed to madly scribble out 5 books in a year. (Don't applaud. Please. They're horrible). Now for whatever reason, I find myself tripping over my inability. I know God accounted for my own lack of ability when He booped my brain all those years ago. He continues to boop my brain with ideas and flashes of images that help me move forward. All the same, I keep revisiting the mounting questions I have of the history of the world and the future of everything with no answers or only vague concepts. Rewriting a book from scratch is hard. Very, very little from the first draft of book 3 has been salvageable, and looking forward I know next to nothing through book 5 is proper framework for the story as its being told now. I recently reread book 4 and 5 and found myself gagging at how inaccurate they are.
On one hand, that means there's cause for celebration, right? It means (in theory) I've progressed as a storyteller and writer and have a firmer concept of the world in which my brain lives. But on the other hand I'm kinda like, boo I have to completely rewrite everything and there's nothing I can work off of. I mean, there's a major character death I thought was set in stone (legit I placed their name in the "yeah, sorry, you're one of my faves but you're gonna be dead" category) back when I was 18, but here we are! They're somehow gonna pull through because LEGITIMATELY NOTHING IS THE SAME.
This may as well be a completely different story with how absurdly vast the unfolding journey is from what I originally wrote.
Lord willing, it'll be a better story than I had originally planned. Hopefully I have the endurance and patience to rise to the challenge. I honestly don't know if I do.