After a brief hiatus I guess I've come to the conclusion that to hell with the world, I'll write the stories I want to write. If people like them too, that's wonderful. If they don't, there are plenty more books out there in the virtual (and real) world.
With that in mind, I had a look at the two pieces I started, then stopped. In the first case, I really liked the character – but the way I'd written it, I couldn't take her further in the story. I'd be saying "yes but…" all the time. I wanted to hang on to that bit of writing, though. It was good. She came across so well, so I thought I'd try switching universes, and set her in my Dryden Universe with a couple of existing characters I'd created in Eye of the Mother. But I hit the same hole I'd fallen into before. Where to from here?
Close that one, look at the second stalled WIP. Oh yes, that would work… And as I switched characters, cut bits, rewrote bits, I started to think that this story actually worked well for the Morgan Selwood universe in which it was set. It was going to be a Morgan's Misfits story (the first and only so far is Kuralon Rescue). And there were places it could go. But it would end up being a full novel, and I'm not in a position to go there just yet. I wanted something fun, maybe novella length.
Oh well. When the spare parts don't fit, all you can do is start again. So that's what I'm doing. It will be the Dryden Universe, starring Brent and Tian who I introduced in Eye of the Mother. It's trickling along, and I'm getting a flow of ideas.
And the moral of the story?
Sometimes it's better to just start again.
(But I'm still pouting about losing Marisa.)