Still thinking about process: the draft to revision process of writing a novel.
Desire is the compass in the wilderness of novel writing.
I think so. When I’m writing a novel, a first and second draft especially, this is what I keep in mind to keep myself from getting lost: What do my characters want? What does my story want? What gets in the way of what my characters and story want? This helps me develop character, plot, and theme.
I still wander, but I don't wander off as far as I did in some of the past manuscripts I've had to give up on. Still, I'm on my third draft of my WIP; the first two drafts were vague. Still, each gave me something. The first gave me characters and situations and some sense of story. In the second, all of that was refined and the real plot and themes emerged. Only now in draft three do I feel like I’ve got a story and characters, and now I get to focus on making it all more vivid and connected. This isn’t to say I haven’t been working on sentences and language all along; of course I have. But now I can focus on that even more, too.