I have hit the Dreaded Middle, that stretch of novel that falls between 25K and 75K (yes, I know that’s a hell of a lot of stretch, but that’s how I roll) where all forward motion moves slower than frozen molasses and every plot twist breaks a bone.
I know people who love this bit, and I wish I were one of them.
For me, the next 50K of this book is going to be a prolonged battle between my outline and my subconscious. I will write things that make no sense. I will write things that don’t have any apparent connection to the story. There will be tiny revelations and huge ones, and I will be unsatisfied with most of them and confused by all of them, and despite knowing precisely where this story is going and having, at this point, a fairly infallible sense of who my MC is and how she reacts to things, I will eke out no more than 1K per day if I’m lucky, and even that much will feel like pulling teeth. Things will speed up at about 65K as I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’ll start to really enjoy myself again, and begin to see that all those random-seeming revelations and events might have a purpose after all, so maybe I won’t be deleting all of them in the 2nd draft.
Then somewhere around the 80K mark a train will come barreling down the tracks from behind me and I’ll spend the rest of the novel clinging to the cow-pusher and watching the scenery fly by. All those moments of randomness I wasn’t sure about will turn out to be dominoes, set up with far more precision than I am capable of anywhere else in life, and they’ll fall down in lovely succession, and I will be very pleased with myself, at least until I start the revising and decide I was crazy. I’ll be doing 2K, sometimes 5K in a single evening. My fingers won’t be able to keep up with my head, and spellchecker will be of particular importance. I look forward to this.
But right now I’m here, hovering close to 30K and looking ahead to the next 40K with the same sense of resignation and dread one feels when seeing a mile-long line for tickets to a really awesome concert.
Argh, I say: argh.