A month or so ago, I thought this story I'm working on, which I'll call "Untitled" for now was almost done ... I wrote it out into a novella, hoping it might turn into a 2-3 episode serial, but once I was through with what I was tentatively calling the "second draft," I had to put it away for a while for a number of reasons.
First, my RL job required a lot of attention for a few weeks, and last week, my parents came for a visit. Shortly before they arrived, though, I started working on it again - realizing my worst fear, that the story was going to have to be completely re-written, and that while I had enough material for a two-part serial, I most certainly didn't have enough story to drag it into three - so, I made a decision to just complete the story as a single novel.
Threshing out the story - which for me is coming up with the story itself and cobbling together the first draft - is the easy part. Turning that quilt of ideas and timelines into an interesting, readable form is something else entirely, and regardless of what anyone says, it is work. A story isn't just a series of events that happens to archetypes (or worse, stereotypes - which is a weakness of some writers), it's turning those "types" into real people, and realizing that this dialogue or this series of actions isn't believable once this or that character becomes an actual person in your mind. Old scenes fade away, new scenes spring up, and after a while, the story you were putting together before only slightly resembles what is turning into the final product ... and when that happens, you know you just might be actually "writing."
I'm nearing the end of what I had written before, which will only be one-half to two-thirds of what will be the complete novel, and now that I'm nearly done reforming the old, I am sort of anxious of the blank slate that awaits in the next week or two. I know where the story is going, and I know how it ends - but, my characters have changed, and they've become alive in my head and in my heart. So ... who knows what really might happen ... it's something I'm just learning myself!