Monday, January 11, 2010

Stuck in the Middle

Every writer reaches a point in their manuscript where they are stuck, wondering why they can't move forward faster and seriously questioning their writing ambitions. Most will agree this usually occurs around the mid-point of the WIP.

Ah. The dreaded sagging middle. No. Not my belly (tho it is in need of a workout). I'm edging closer to the midpoint of my novel and the pace is slowing to near snail like movement. Oh, I'm progressing forward. But there are so many plot issues to iron out: POV, pacing and why the heck are they in this setting? And who was I to even attempt RS? I have NO IDEA what I am doing.

Yes, today was the "my book sucks" day. I've been trying to avoid it by taking down Christmas decorations, doing laundry, setting up Valentine's decor, contemplating lint... seriously... I solved a problem yesterday, dashed down the idea, edged forward a bit, but I KNOW I must really examine the sexual tension, the location, the dance scene (being a puppeteer with fictional characters and not marionettes is tough). How do I get them from point A to point B, keep the tension high (plot and relationship and sexually) and layer in the scenery, sights, sounds, smells and touches?

Uh, and do it seamlessly?


So in honor of my dilemma: I post this homage to an old song:

Stuck in the Middle


Anonymous said...

Okay, I know it's not funny when we get stuck someplace and the nearest help is hundreds of miles away... but this post is funny. Why can I picture you staring at the dryer lint? *grin* Probably because I've been there too.

When you least expect it, the light bulb will go on and you won't be able to write fast enough. Just make sure to keep pencil and paper handy wherever you go. :)

Christine said...

I know, Martha. It's like the juices are flowing and all is well and then BAM. Chapter Nine arrives (or Ten or Seven) and poof. There goes the writing mojo. Then it's write a bit, stare at lint, send an email to a friend, turn on the timer, write a bit more and back at it again.

I did write for 3 hours today... but I felt like I was pulling a sleeping elephant through mud. Hence the BOOK SUCKS moment LOL.

I'm changing venues tomorrow. Hopefully a change of scene FOR ME will help my story bubble back up to the surface.

Ellen B said...

Let us know how the change of venue goes :)

I've been there. Hell, I *am* there. Everything passes!

Christine said...

Ellen: slogging through the middle is tough for a lot of writers. I think it does get easier the more we write. But never completely fades. I have heard muliti-published authors talk about this happening to them as well. I wonder if it ever truly is eliminated.

But if they can push through this. so can we! Good luck with your writing as well.

Maybe all the cold weather is freezing our abiity to think clearly.

Zoe said...

Gah! I hate that moment when you realise the momentum is gone. It's like trudging through a swamp of custard. Slow, unsteady and highly disturbing.

Is it odd that this tends to happen to me just at the climax of the novel, as opposed to the middle?

Christine said...

Zoe, I have that also ... it's the major pivotal plot points that throw me off. I want them to be strong.

I just tend to fly through to the end, read and fix later. But when I am in the middle, oh. That is the toughest for me.