I'm somewhere in the vicinity of 15k words now. Which puts me right at that stage when the shine starts to wear off my story. The realization dawns that as cool as it was in my head, all vague and swirly and brightly colored with lots of interesting characters and a few really awesome plot points to aim for, on paper it's plodding and pedantic and my characters don't do anything but talk in cliches and even *I* don't believe the rationale behind their actions. Not to mention I always tackle topics I know nothing about, without bothering to do any research. Last year, for example, I wrote a crime novel, despite knowing absolutely nothing about police procedures or court proceedings.
This year, I'm topping that by writing about brain science; about a future where memories can be eliminated. Yeah, very "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", but to be fair, this is a topic I've tackled repeatedly since well before that movie came out. It's a subject that fascinates me because of the philosophical and moral questions that arise from it: can there really be experiences that only affect us in a negative way, or do we have the ability to learn something, to bring something positive from all experiences? How much of who we are comes from the sum total of experience, good and bad? Would it be wrong to eliminate almost all memories in order to start over, and if wrong, how wrong? And would we be the same people if we did, or something else entirely?
There's no way to answer these questions, but it's fun to play with them. At the same time, I'm really struggling just because it's all very complex: what would drive a person to do this? What kind of people would allow it and help them accomplish it? How would it affect their families and friends? And what about practical concerns: how would they establish a new identity from a legal standpoint if they completely started over? How would they make a living? In my own world, I can sort of make that up as I go along, but I'm feelin' a bit overwhelmed, and the story isn't the wonderful shiny thing I would like it to be.
But I'll keep plugging along, hoping I can polish it up in the next draft. I gotta keep repeating that to myself. Otherwise, I'm gonna go nuts. It's all very traumatizing. Maybe could do with some memory erasure myself.