That mid-point

Though I’ve written about 1200 words on the next chapter, I feel like I’m making slow progress, dithering, unfocused, not sure where I’m going.

I looked at my word count and realized that if this novel is about 70,000 words long, I’m in the middle of the book. (I’m at about 28,000 words right now, the actual mid-point would be either the end of the next chapter, or mid-way through the one following, at 35,000. So the middle third of the book.)

For me, the middle of any piece is always the most difficult to write. It’s where I switch gears, not building and planting so much as reaping and tying together. The dominoes have been set up. It’s time for them to start falling.

Honestly — I can’t believe I’ve written this much. I’m rather astonished by that. Until I reached this point, I’ve felt as though this is one of the easiest novels I’ve ever written.

I keep wondering if I should do some plotting now. Except I know where I want to go. I know what the next scene of this chapter is, as well as the fourth scene, and the last line of the chapter. I know the start of the first scene of the next chapter, but I don’t know how it’ll be resolved. I know what the second scene of the next chapter must be, but again, not how it ends. I’m really feeling my way through this novel.

Despite feeling a bit lost, I still think this is one of the strongest pieces I’ve written to date, mainly because the secondary characters are all as strong and as well formed as the primary characters (so much of that has to do with the Character Voice and Setting workshop I just took.)

Anyway. That dreaded middle. The transition. Bleak just got bleaker. And after I finish slogging my way through it, if this novel is like any of my others, the end will be a toboggan ride down an icy slope, me barely hanging on, with only illusions that I’m directing the thing, as the ride gallops to a close with a grand spray of snow.

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