It took a few days before I remembered that I wasn’t writing the current novel to write a good novel, I was writing it to learn about process. This allowed me to restore a modicum of rationality to my life. That is, it allowed me to stop obsessing constantly over whether it was good, and whether or not the way my beta readers were getting distracted while reading it was a bad thing and if so if I should just give up immediately.
I don’t know what I’ll do to become sane again when I can’t use the excuse ‘I wasn’t trying to produce a great salable novel anyhow.’.
In any case, I’m taking a bit of a break to decompress. I found the new Inform 7 language for writing more Interactive Fiction and it’s quite fun to read and play with. And I’m already thinking about the new Neverwinter Nights toolset. And in a few days I’ll get back on the horse and start seriously outlining Book 2. Which I really need a name for. I think I’ll even give myself a wordcount daily quota for the outline stage. In this version, my goal is to outline enough that the flow of my writing is never broken by trying to figure out what happens next. I spend enough time choosing the right words even when I know exactly what I want to happen. Oh, and to add more exposition. Apparently I’m weak on exposition. Too much show, not enough tell. Can you imagine? Oh, and to remember that tension doesn’t always mean conflict.