I don't even know what to call it anymore. People ask me what I'm writing about when I tell them I'm writing a book and I say something like, "Well, it's about some characters, things happen to them, well it's about a jewel, but wait, it's supposed to be really deep and moving and all the characters have backstories and it's interesting and exciting, well, yeah, and there's like all these other things." But I don't have any real story. I would really like to compare it to something like Mad Men - the tv show - where it's not really about anything but ideas and feelings and emotions and a certain day but there's definitely no mystery to it or drive or plot like Breaking Bad or Lost. It's just about their lives and their lives and what they have to go through and they're exciting and different. It's a book/story that I'd like to read and it's the only idea I've ever had and it's been two-and-a-half years of this. I've had many first drafts and my latest one, that I've been writing for the last month, reached 52,000 words before I got to the "ugh, what is this book about?" part and stopped and now that's where I'm at. I would say, however, that this draft is the closest I've got, compared to my many other first drafts, to reaching what I want my story to actually be. I know who the main characters are, I know their personalities like the back of my hand and I know what their backstories are supposed to be prior before the story actually begins but after I begin with a premise I just don't know how to keep going, like I keep doubting myself or something. I've thought about whether this story is going to be character-driven or plot-driven or mainstream or literary and I've tried plot-driven and mainstream in the last draft and I don't think it's what I want. I was voiding in my latest draft any internal thoughts the characters could have because I was afraid of any narrative that I could have otherwise just shown like how we watch TV shows or movies there is no narrative, it's just all visual, that's what I wanted the book to be, but now I'm thinking that may be wrong; I didn't want to give away any of the character's backstories early on that would explain their actions that I was planning on using as a plot point later on in the series because I wanted it to be like watching a TV show and didn't want to do any info dumps that you wouldn't see on a TV show. It was mostly all just action and dialogue to write the story and then the rare "she was nervous" narrative. I know the situations I want my characters to get into and what will create conflict and, hopefully, emotion. I want it to be like a series on a TV show and that the characters get into these situations and they'll be different each book (each season) and after each episode (part) and for it to be serialized and that the characters change over time and it's not just some static crappy show like the west wing or NCIS or House or some crap but a good show that knows where it's going and what it wants to do. I have created enough of a mythology for my story that I feel I could keep it going and keep everything connected over the entire series (like Breaking Bad) while also breaking each part of the mythology into seasons (books) while also having the series grounded with the main characters. What I found early on in writing the first of my first drafts is that the characters need to survive. The characters mostly are going to go all over the place as they discover each other, getting into situations, and discovering more about the mythology, and that really there is no "place" they can come to at the end of the day to survive. That this is actually a real problem because in my setting and premise all the characters are really at the low-end of society and that this will be difficult for them. Kind of like how on The Walking Dead, all the characters need a new society in each season to survive in. I was so fed up with what situations and backstories and emotions I want my characters to have that by the time I started a first draft, this thought didn't even come to, and now I think it should be the basis of plot for each book because of how important it is. It's a fantasy/adventure and it's not plot-driven but very character-motivated. I just want it to be about their daily lives and this adventure they go on over, I think, 5-6 different full-length books. I want it to explore their motivations and their pasts and their goals and have them end up somewhere in an existential state-of-mind where they realize what all the point of what they did was and if it was worth it, because at any point in the story they could say to themselves, "Screw this, I'm just going to go home," but they don't because they're so damaged and flawed and lonely and starved for something emotionally. This is the book that I want to read. I read a quote that I think we all know and it goes something like, "If there's a book you want to read, but can't find it, then you must write it." Everyone on here or somewhere else is always talking about how they're writing a book but that they keep getting more ideas in their head and that they can't stick to one or about how they want to write many more books and not just one and that they want them all to be great. I'm not like that. I have one idea. And I want it to be perfect. But only if I could get it on paper. Do I need to get high or something? Relax my mind? How do I just write this story that I know I can that I feel no one else but me can do? I feel it could change the world. I feel it would change my world knowing it was out there. I want it to be great like I know it will be but I just don't know how to start and keep going with it. I need a motivator, someone to tell me I can do it, someone to tell me that I have what it takes, that yes if this is the story that you want to read but that you're not going to find it anywhere, that I then must write it. How do I find that confidence. How do I just tell myself to shut up and write the damn book already? And not care about how much narrative there is or dialogue or action or if my structure is off or if I'm revealing too much information about a character or scene or that if my writing sucks and that I don't have what it takes because I wasn't a writing prodigy at 13 or didn't take a creative writing class in college or have a degree in it or not have any other prior writing experiences except a score of first drafts on the same damn idea and essays from school? Just please, someone, tell me something. Tell me you feel my pain and that this is torturous.