Quote Originally Posted by Deadly View Post
I'm sort of flat-lining right now. I've got the first five-ish chapters. It's a mess, but it's a mess I feel confident I could distill and refine into a fine brew at this point. Which is great and should mean I can finally blaze ahead with the rest of the story. Except there's just a vast and open desert ahead, and no road to follow. What road is there are just fragments scattered all over the desert. I finally know how my story begins, and I have some notion of what the end looks like if not the exact ending, but there's a vast emptiness in between.
I found just crowbaring it into the standard hollywood heroes journey formulae helped a LOT - that's my expensive arts degree coming in handy. Basically introduction, bad guy does a thing, ordinary day, resisting the call, mentor, weird adventures, mentor dies, depression, resurgence, showdown, victory. Have you tried doing something like that?

Alternately consider just blamming out a bunch of disconnected scenes and long rambling conversations with the most jagged and clunky of transitions just to get better ideas of how the characters work together and what they really believe.