Day Fifteen: 28,227 of 50,000
We’re at that middle bit.
If you’re the kind of person who only gets halfway through writing books before stopping, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
It’s the dreaded half-way point. The part where the beginning and all the groundwork is done, the real essence of the story is trying to reveal itself, and the story has what I can only describe as a midlife crises. My characters do a dutiful job of working within the confines of their archetype for the first while (sometimes they decide they’re vampire hunters, but we still learn to get along), the real story I’m writing starts to become more apparent and the old plot line gets left behind, the scaffolding staying in the rough draft like remnants of some old mining town where the mine never produced ore. For a few days I get this feeling that the story is really hitting it’s stride, that there is a story here after all and I haven’t been kidding myself that I can come up with material enough to get through the month.
Then, we get to that middle bit.
Suddenly, my characters become overly emotional. They question whether or not their lives have been what we’ve agreed they are, they want to run off and date hot young blondes and drive them around in red convertibles even though it’s winter and I live in Utah where convertibles are practical maybe two months out of the year anyhow.
They still want to drive a convertible. With a new friend – anyone but the people I’ve stuck them in this story with. They all hate each other, or they get along too well and I as the dutiful author must chase them up trees and throw rocks at them. The calm cool, writer in me who has Perspective and thinks that this is a sign there is a good amount of conflict and realistic characters, so I’m doing a good job and to keep the pressure on. Who, when life is difficult, hasn’t wanted to throw it all away and be someone else?
The me who knows I still have half a book (at least) to write throws a bit of a mid-novel crisis herself. I get pissy with anyone near me, I throw little tantrums in my head, and I tell myself I have no good ideas. I want to just make the conflict happen. I want to know where this story is going. I want my characters to BEHAVE, dammit.
Oh good. Another angst-riddled writer raging against the machine. How original – just what this world needs.
It reminds me of this brilliant bit of inspiration – something I read often to keep me going. I mean, if Neil Gaiman feels like this sometimes, I must be doing it right. In fact, you might as well go read what he has to say, because it’s exactly what I’ve just been complaining about, and he’s a much more accomplished writer than I.