The story is set in a fantasy setting (without dragons, dwarves, or endless magical powers) but in a very barren, worn-out futuristic world, where magic sometimes slips through to surprise the characters because of what they do as a consequence to their actions. It's not about one young character who has to go on a quest and save the girl or the world and become great (even though that's not completely out of the question) but about a group of characters who are middle-aged and who are in denial of how bad their lives have turned out and go on an adventure that forces them to see the mistakes they've made and so they can do right and "change." I've been trying to write this story for probably about eighteen months now and all I've ever been able to do is come up with a million different plot ideas and then realizing, after three weeks or so, that it's not what I want and then scrapping it and redoing the whole process again, each time thinking "this is it!" when it's not. All I really know is who I want the core characters to be and what they have to go through but I just don't know what context to put them in or how to create enough tension with their story or even how to connect all of them together since they come from such different backgrounds. I think of the story as kind of a like a tv show where there's not really an ending until way down the line (which I have kind of a vague idea of). So in a show like "Mad Men" there's a group of characters (with each their own stories) the show revolves around but they're all part of an ad agency that already groups them together and where they can meet and interact with each other. I don't really have anything in my story that can group them together like that yet in the way that I want. These are the only characters I've had in my head for what seems like forever and I can't get rid of them or create new ones and the only thing I feel I can change is the story they interact in but this is the only story I feel I can tell and it feels it has been too long without having anything like a first draft. It's like an addiction or an obsession I can't stop myself with. Is there some kind of narrative that I'm not understanding or using to why I can't get anything on paper and having it stay there? Is it not the hero's journey? Is it not a three-act structure? Is it not an adventure? Is it not a fantasy? What do you call this story? What would you call "Mad Men" in a novel format as it's not really a story with an ending? I've looked at so many story structures, formulas, and theories and have tried to apply them to my story but I can't get any of them to "WORK" and I always just say to myself intuitively "this isn't what I want" and I just delete it and put it in my "story" folder where there's over three hundred scrap documents of failed attempts and then I start over again. I just want to know what the hell I'm doing wrong.