In the last few days, I've worked more in my novels than I have since the year began. I solved all but one of my last storyline problems. I tied my characters together more fully than ever before. I know their motivations, their goals, their stakes. I know which of them will achieve their goals, which won't.
My plot, too, seems finally good to go. I have all the major landmarks. I have twists, turns, roadblocks. Hopes and despair. It unfolds in an organic way (the second draft did not) and tension builds up all the way through the end (the first draft did not). The scene-by-scene outline is coming together nicely.
And yet, something is missing.
Despite the progress I was making, my excitement diminished. I wasn't fully conscious of it, not until I opened my outline document yesterday and heard myself sigh. Yes, at times writing as felt like work to me. I've had to force my butt in my chair to work. I had to ignore the calling of more entertaining endeavours. But always, when I reminded myself no one would teach me to write - that I had to learn on my own - I was able to stay focused.
More importantly, it was never during the planning phase.
I asked myself what was wrong. Since when was I not excited at preparing my story? What was WRONG with me? I had this nagging feeling, growing with every day, that this new draft would be missing something important.
I found what when I considered reworking EDINGHER instead. Let WHITE ECHOES rest and light up a new flame, y'know? I kind of miss Edingher's deep and rich setting.
This is what WHITE ECHOES is missing. The setting is getting better, yes, but it still feels generic. It doesn't live and influence my storyline. Not as much as it should, anyway.
Worldbuilding is one of my favourite part of writing fantasy. This WIP isn't fantasy, however, and somehow I forgot to put as much thought and energy into detailing the world as I usually do.
I have a lot of work ahead of me before I start the next draft, even moreso now that I have found my problem. While it makes me sigh, I know I have saved myself a lot of time in editing.