Yeah, not a huge word count this week. Am I stuck?
Well, no, actually, I don’t think so.
Maybe a little bit lazy, definitely a little bit preoccupied, but stuff’s percolating. I know this because I’m still taking notes, and getting in the minimum 500 a day that I generally beat myself up over. I know this because I’m still dreaming of my characters and having minor plot-epiphanies while driving Her Dogginess to day care in the mornings.
They’re just not getting onto the page very fast at the moment.
This is dead center, the hardest part: somewhere in the next 5-8K there’s a turning point coming, something subtle or hand-grenade blatant, where everything I don’t know I’ve built so far starts to fall down. The plot of this novel is much more fast-paced and violent than any other I’ve written, so I’m admittedly a little out of my element here… but I’ve got a few things about this process figured by now, and this is one of the things my brain does while I’m hacking my way through MiddleLand. It arranges a coherent plot arc or three while I’m not looking, and executes them while I’m agonizing over pointless word choices and overdoing the exposition.
I trust this is happening. The fact that I can’t see it right now doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Funny, I can outline right down to individual scenes (I generally don’t get that specific, but I’ve tried it), and still be so damn lost at this particular junction. Middles are delicate things for me, even when they feel like the opposite: all the endgame set-up is happening now, even if I’m only aware of half of it, and knowing that makes me want to be more careful, which makes me write more slowly, which is stupid. Inner Editor is doing her backseat driver act now, clutching the headrest of the driver’s side front seat and pointing at every rock in the road ahead, shrieking about wrong turns, insisting that the map is wrong, that I’m driving too fast, or that there’s something wrong with the muffler, and then getting charmingly carsick all over the upholstery. I probably need to print that poo mantra out and paste it above my desk– along with, perhaps, a distractingly inspiring picture of Daniel Craig, for moments like these.
So, slow progress. Sigh.
I really can’t wait until it’s time to put up a bunch of annoyingly jubilant I-love-endings posts.