My story won't work!
Fuck. Fuck. Fucky fuckity fuck.
Something's not right, there's grit in the mechanism somewhere. Right now i'm staring at a collection of words, sentences, characters and dialogue. But there's something missing. I've rewritten to the point where my grandfather's axe has become a shovel, and no matter how deep I dig the whole it's still in parts.
There are writers who hold a very pragmatic idea of a story: Write well; know the rules and when to break them; edit to death; keep on plugging.
It's all good advice. But I can't help but feel a lot of the process is mysterious. I'm missing that ineffable zing - that certain fulcrum that swings the story round into the right rhythm. When a story's all over the place like this one is, I can't even get the simple grammar right - I know there's something bigger wrong with it.
Which means I shall have to tie the characters to a chair and quiz them about their deeper motivations. Perhaps slap them until they scream out one-word answers. Or spit in my face. Which would also be a tell. Right now, they're just puppet actors and I need to be able to smell them.