This is actually a good place to be, though it sounds dismal. I’m questioning why I’m writing my work in progress. Readers get very attached to my series characters, but in each book there needs to be something meaningful to engage them as well. The story needs marrow in its bones. The key question is: why do I need to tell this story?
The problem with my work in progress is that the initial idea intrigued me and amused me, but it didn’t make me excited or impassioned. The villains were “inspired,” if I can call it that, by people who annoyed me, not people who outraged me. None of my villains are murderers, but they use, betray, and manipulate people in a variety of ways, based on actions that have appalled me in real life. A clever plot and a great setting blinded me to the weaknesses in the work in progress. I started it three years ago, set it aside to write book seven, Shadow Family, and now that I’ve resumed revisions on book eight, I understand why it’s been so hard to finish.
Perhaps I can recycle elements but change the villains and the crime. Or perhaps I simply need to start over from scratch. What matters is the quality of the book, not the speed at which I finish it. I’ve always been a slow writer, and I’m willing to slow down more to get this book to work.
As I said, I’m questioning everything, and glad I’m doing it.