Dammit. Dammit dammit dammit. I have to be vague again. Why didn't I just do this about the first arc? Well, too late to rewrite the challenge now, I suppose, and that means this post is basically bullshit. But whatever, I have to write something about it, so ...
I've had all five arcs planned out since the beginning, at least in terms of the basic plot points, but each has changed significantly as I've gotten to know the characters. My writing is definitely character-driven, as opposed to action-driven, so it's not so odd for me to alter stories and their endings because, well, guess what, I'm not an egomaniac who requires that what I say goes. For me, writing is such an organic experience, and the characters and world aren't so much created as they are sort of ... born? I have a really difficult time putting my process into words, which is funny because LOL author. It's like I hear voices in my head? You know, I'm going to stop this line of thought now because I feel like this is veering into mental health territory, and yeah, not going there today.
Anyway, some days, the first arc with its introductions (to the characters, the world, etc.) is my favorite, and on others, the second arc's deeper examination of themes only mentioned in the first is. The third is much more fast-paced and action-oriented, so it's so much fun to write, and the fourth is probably the darkest I've ever gone with the characters and I've been able to delve deeper into my own psychological issues that I didn't really want to address in real life. Then with the fifth? It's fulfilling and beautiful and heartbreaking and empowering. I'm practically bursting at the seams because I can't talk about them in more detail.
But they have to be ready. Maybe not perfect, because no piece of art is - especially if the artist has anything to say about it - but finished, like that Facebook video I post annually as a reminder to myself. I'm staying on my deadlines, but damn if it isn't hard to keep on track there. I want to jump ahead but also go back and change things that I wrote in the first novella (well, the reboot novella, not the original) because these stories deserve that kind of attention. Because literally, I love them all.