Where the Tracks Run Out

Train tracks lead into grass.

I have a decent novel. I’m sure of that. My current draft of The Keep of Ages shapes up and smells like a real book, with the right characters, some surprising twists, and theme concepts that intrigue me. Yet something’s missing. I feel it between the lines, part promise and part absence. I don’t know what I’m looking for, but I know I need to look.

So I’m stepping off the tracks into the wild grass. This is an unnerving place, where the only guide is questions, and they aren’t clearly formed. I don’t know how long it will take, or how to make progress, or how to accept that it doesn’t feel productive. I have to risk undoing what I’ve drafted so far. Even so, I’m going. There’s no other way, because the ideas I’m looking for aren’t on the tracks. If they were, I’d have found them by now.

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