I don’t know why I haven’t learned, because it happens EVERY TIME. I go strong and then I hit the midway point of the book. Loose ends start flying in every direction, I’m not getting to the climax fast enough, there are things that have to happen that aren’t ready to happen yet. I want to rush, I don’t know where to go.
And I generally decide the whole books sucks.
At this point I start to lose the momentum that has been pushing me steadily through the first hundred pages and maybe pick up a new show to start binging on Netflix rather than writing at night.
It the death of the book.
I might pick it back up again, I might peck out a few more chapters from time to time, but if I let that initial momentum die, then it is more likely that the manuscript will languish on my hard drive than reach the end.
I am aware of this and in the past I’ve buckled down and pushed ahead when it’s a book I have made some great progress on. The thing about momentum is that it’s a lot easier to smash through a wall if you come at it running from a mile away, than if stop you stand in front of it for a while, kicking at it.
I’m currently hating a new story. Well, i don’t hate it. I just don’t like where it’s at right now. I had it well mapped out and its meandering too long in the early stages when there is so much more to come. If I go backwards and start editing now, it’s never going to happen, but the idea of forging ahead it daunting, because it’s already so long and we’re hardly half way.
I have a day or two left to get back to it with some momentum. I’ve been balking. I’ve been watching Future Man.
The truth is, I don’t know if the effort of pushing through this saggy middle is going to be worth it. I might reach the end and it still doesn’t work. I might not know how to fix the problems when all is said and done.
The loose ends could tie themselves up. The end might wrap itself up sooner than expected. A book acts like a living thing. It makes it’s own decisions, it carves it’s own paths, and a writer is just the scribe that charts the progress.
I really won’t know until I reach the end.
I’ve lost my excitement for this story, but I’ve lost my excitement for my dog too when she shredded my sofa in the fifteen minutes I left her home alone. It doesn’t mean I don’t love her. It doesn’t mean she hasn’t redeemed herself a hundred times. Books at the same.
So the best thing I can do is to keep going. Use the remains of my momentum to crash through that wall, even if it doesn’t make sense at the time. Learning to do this, consistently, no matter how difficult is what makes you an author and now just a dreamer.
Keep writing, friends. I look forward to seeing your books on my shelves.