Wading Through the Murky Middle

This is the part of the novel writing process that’s truly getting me.  Allow me to set it up.  When I first set down to write this story, I began with a vigor.  The opening chapters captivated and held together great (revisions withstanding).  Somewhere during that process, the ending came to me.  I made notes to insure I wouldn’t fall prey to creative amnesia when it came time to actually write it out.  I know the ending is right.  This assertion based solely on the goose pimples that climbed my arms.

Then at around chapter nine I reached the gap.  The beginning is solid.  The ending is solid.  Now how do I bridge the gap?  I figured I would just keep writing and it would come to me.  Hence where I began to wade through the murky middle.  About that time I realized my second dilemma.  I was forcing my way through the middle just to get to my ending.  At that rate I would have fell twenty to thirty thousand words short of an average length novel.  Although my current creative writing workshop instructor, Jim Sallis, would disagree with that notion.  He is of the mind that less is more.  Get to the heart of your story and don’t let the work get over fluffed (my word, not his) with unnecessary stuff, i.e., adverbs, adjectives, identifier tags, gratuitous detail, etc.

In any case, I needed more.  Eventually an idea struck me so hard, I’m pretty sure I remember a nose bleed.  I trudged out six more chapters, managing not to be pulled down into the Bog of Despair.  The way I figure it, I’m about a chapter and a half away from starting where my ending notes began.  The writing should increase then.  After all, I know what the character are going to do, right?  If only they would cooperate like that (the characters that is).

So I see no reason why my original goal of a November deadline should not be met.  I’m projecting around Thanks Giving.  Then I will let it simmer over the holidays.  Maybe work on a short story or two.  Then after the new year, I will attack the manuscript with my flaming pen of righteous wordage and see what survives.

I’ll let you know how my plan goes.


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