“From the midst of this darkness, a sudden light broke in upon me—a light so brilliant and wondrous.” - Victor Frankenstein
So after about a week of solid panic and lamenting the ruin of my art, I put it out of mind for a day. Then I did what Anne Lamott did in Bird by Bird. I sat down and just thought about what I liked in the story. What the story was, not necessarily what I wanted it to be, or what others might want it to be. I wrote down the characters, the places, the scenes, all of it in the journal there on the left, and I discovered something: all the pieces I liked, all the varying aspects of the story I tried to view it through, they all existed within the draft I had been writing. They co-existed rather well. This story - it's not fair to call it a story, really - this world has always been bigger than what I could get my arms around. So many lenses existed to view the world through that I tried one at a time, certain this was it, and then finding out it wasn't. Ultimately, I went back to the beginning. Why did I want to tell this story? Where did it come from? As I wrote down this piece and that piece in the journal, the story revealed itself.
And I found out something else: I really liked this story. This is the story I wanted to tell. I don't think my struggles with the novel are over. In fact, I'm still pretty unsure how it will all come together, but I feel a lot better than I did the other day.