The beginning is always the easiest. The destination is always the most rewarding. The middle, that’s the hard part. It’s the middle of November and I’ve been writing a large word count daily for nearly two weeks now. I have to admit, it’s wearing on me. If you’re in this challenge, I’m sure it’s wearing on you also. The excitement has waned. I’m finding writing more and more difficult as I progress.
Currently, sitting at around 28,000 words, I’m well past the inciting incident within the story. I’ve advantaged past Act 1 and into the second act. Now the difficulty is getting the characters from point A to point B. During that time period, there must be enough tension and conflict to cause the characters and plot to develop into what is planned for the ending. That stretch between the beginning and end is essentially the story. It’s that journey from who the characters were in the status quo of the beginning of the novel, to arriving at the new status quo at the end. And yet, that always seems to be the greatest challenge.
I don’t believe the lack of excitement is due to the story itself, although that’s possible. So far, I believe the pacing is fairly balanced. There is plenty of rising action followed by moments of falling tension to allow for the reader to catch their breath. However, I won’t truly know this until the editing begins. That’s a whole other rabbit hole so I’m not even going to think about that phase until the draft is finished.
I’ve realized even more so than before, that I’m not much of a pantser (gardener) writer. Sure, I mostly discovery write my characters, but I need structure and a plan to write with any enthusiasm. As I readjust my outline-after having to shift elements of the narrative as placated by the characters and changing direction of the story-those newly planned scenes are far more vibrant within my mind. Perhaps I need to focus more on those planned adjustments.
The reality just is that the middle of writing a novel is tough. But yet, we should not stop. I’ve entered this challenge to get that second manuscript completed and intend to do just that. Whatever you’re working on, whatever challenge you may be apart of, I hope you continue as well.
If you’ve entered a funk or have ever just had to sludge your way through a creative project, comment below! Let’s keep it going! Remember, express your creativity!