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Thread: Stuck on Time Frame
September 17th, 2012, 02:48 PM #1
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Stuck on Time Frame
So, I've been stuck for a while. Not precisely blocked, though output is way down.
I've recognized that part of my stuckness is a major indecision on where to focus my attention. I've got this world I've built that I quite like, and I've got some characters I think are pretty fascinating inhabiting it, BUT... they are spread out in three distinct time zones.
It's a future-earth SF setting. Basically, I've got a world where humans build machines to manage the environment, which they create by modelling the machines on biological functions, and the machines in turn merge with living things because they're similar enough, and so become aware, regulate the biological world using machine logic, and in the process more or less enslave humanity and all life on the planet by turning us into a machine-hybrid hive mind. It's sort of a Green Dystopia, I guess.
I have, all told, three separate sets of about 50-75k words of short and middle length pieces set in this world, each set typically involving the same characters but in different situations or periods of their lives. For each period, I have a pretty clear sense of where I think the story will go, eventually. One set is all during the apocalyptic/immediate post-apoc phase, another is mid-way into the reestablishment of civilization from the resulting human/machine hybrid, pre-hive, and the last is farther future, when the earth bound system needs more fuel and the hive decides to expand to the stars.
I think I've bitten off more than I can chew right now. I can't seem to focus on any one set, and as a result I've basically been idle for a year or so on it. False progress abounds. Part of me is saying to ignore the others and just focus on one of the sets and turn it into a proper story, beginning middle end. Another part is saying, forget that, the whole scope needs to be there. And yet another part thinks -- this whole thing needs a lot more time to percolate. And then there's the scrap it, start over voice.
So I try to keep up the practice of writing often by pursuing other ideas and stories, but they tend to feel less interesting so they peter out. I've produced more unfinished half-baked writing now than I ever have before. It's getting frustrating. Can't finish, can't start.
My point is: a) any sympathy out there? and b) got any great ideas to add some fuel to this fire? What would you do? Focus on one? Or keep trying to juggle all the balls and go for the glory with the magnum opus?