While sitting here looking at all of the post it notes, pages marked with arrows, and a story outline so marked up it looks like a bleeding road map, I’m wishing I could flip a magic switch and completed the three book projects swirling in the back of my brain.*

But there are no short cuts.  The journey—from idea to brainstorming to plotting to character/world building to final product—is an important part of the process.  It’s what grows you as a writer.

It’s also the part that never gets easier.

Basically, I’m at the start over point in my novel.  A big difference between writing a novel versus a short story is that you can keep the entire story and character arcs in your head much easier. I can only plot, character/world build, write so far before I lose track of all of the threads of a story and have to start over.  Usually trashing what’s left of my outline and re-mapping the story thus far to its conclusion.

The exciting part is that I’m still not even sure what the novel is about yet.  It’s a science fiction novel which has a civilization loosely based on how ant colonies operate, an infotaxis nanovirus, clockwork miners, and a hero who gets beat up.  A lot.

All of which I’m greatly enjoying.

So there you go, the process never gets any easier, but when you embrace it, you enjoy it.  It’d still be nice to occasionally flip the switch and be done with projects though.  At least the ones with deadlines.

*For the record, they are my science fiction novel tentatively called Scout; my steamfunk novel, tentatively called Pimp My Airship; and a horror novel in collaboration with Wrath James White tentatively called Wrath of God.