Middle Book Blues

I haven’t written a word in nearly two weeks. The book is half done. 

I have heard that the middle of the book is the hardest bit to write, the most common place to get stuck. How do I get out of it?

I have some idea what the next biggest scene will be. I even have some idea what my character needs to do – he has a to do list! And he’s sorely behind in the list of the things he needs to do. (He was derailed by the plot bunny!) Poor guy.

But I don’t know the next immediate step. I don’t know how he gets from here to the next biggest scene and he can’t just skip from here to there. I don’t even know how he gets from here to the next thing on his to do list.

I’m stuck and it’s unpleasant. Very, very unpleasant.

 

Words Lost and Then Chopped

A few weeks back, I had a program crash. It was quiet, quick and quite painful. I lost thousands of words, about two weeks’ worth. I know, I know, you are supposed to back up. I do, I did, but not for the past two weeks. I thought there would be time for that later. (Otherwise I would have lost more than two weeks!)

I remember what I wrote. But not the exact words, the exact phrase, the details I used. So I couldn’t recreate it exactly the same. But I have finished recreating it and it is mostly the same. I think. I don’t believe I left anything out.

But it is shorter! I lost words along the way, but I don’t think I lost any details. I rearranged the scenes, yes, couldn’t help myself. I also did not have written a few pages worth of dialogue – dialogue I would deleted later anyway. (I realized a few scenes afterward that the dialogue wasn’t necessary.)

But it was only a few pages. I am astonished at how shorter the whole thing is now. It’s like I only recreated ¾ of the work I lost. It’s a puzzling.

I is for Ideas

I think I am going through an idea drought lately. Well, more like than I am stuck on the current novel in progress. I don’t know how to go on. I got the middle blues. Which is where I usually get stuck. It’s depressing. I know what happens after this bit, but not how to get there.

I guess that’s why I started the erotica novella. It’s an idea I’ve had for some time and just never really did anything about.

Though I don’t know – should I take a month-long break from the novel to do this? I am and I am hoping it’ll shake something loose. I was frustrated trying to write a transition type bit in the novel and not get getting anywhere. Maybe I should have written the piece(s) afterward, just to give myself a goal. Maybe. I don’t know.

But the erotica novella is new and interesting too so . . . I’m just not really sure if it’s a good idea taking a long break. But we’ll see.

Difficult POV

So I was writing something with multiple point of view characters. One main POV, one secondary POV, one main character. I meant it to be a short story, but it got long. (10,000+ words is a short story, yes?)

Anyway. I am rereading it now and I realize it is utter crap. And not just in the way all-first-drafts-are-crap. No. It really sucks. The POV transitions are not smooth, the voices aren’t distinct and they should be. And I am thinking there are some structure problems too. I feel scraping it and starting over.

A large part of the problem is probably that the last time I wrote a multiple POV story was in highschool. It was a sword & sorcery novel and I didn’t finish it. (It sucked, too.) Everything ever since have been single POV, where the main character is the POV character.

I meant this long story to test the multiple POV waters. I wanted to know what kind of problems I was looking at.  I am seriously considering a novel like that. Very seriously problems, I now realize.

It’ll be challenge and I don’t know if I’m up to it. Maybe I should do some more prep work first, work with both characters separately and than do something with them together. I don’t know.

In the mean time, I am writing something else. Something short and simple. :-)

D is for Done

This is my first A to Z challenge. I am beginning with D, because I didn’t realize it started already. LOL

I am done with the WiP. Done, done, done! DONE!!!!

It feels good. For a while I wasn’t sure I was ever going to be done, but I am. I had to start from the beginning last year, and I did a lot during NaNo last year. I couldn’t finish it during NaNo, but I am done now and I feel so good.

It still needs editing and rewriting and all. I reread it before finishing and I realized some of what I need to rewrite. I edited some, but only what I couldn’t force myself to leave for when I was actually editing.

I am going to leave it be for a few weeks before I start the editing process. I am not looking forward to that at all. Going to focus on short stories for the next couple weeks.

Rereading the WiP

So I came back to the WiP after not writing for a month. It was a good month, just not one meant for writing. Or blogging. Or reading, even. Well, I read more than I blogged or wrote, but even reading was minimal.

So I felt the urge to write again and opened up my file and I find I have forgotten details of my own story. Like, names. They include the names of various business and characters and so on.

Okay, yeah, the characters are minor and so are some of the business. But really!!! Does not remembering mean I should not have attempted to turn into something other than stock characters? I am not going to spend hours and hours on characters that only appear a handful of times, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get names and at least a few words of description. Does it?

Also, I didn’t expect to forget little details of the lives of the secondary characters. That’s even worse than forgetting the names of minor characters.

I realize now I have to reread the whole damn thing and resist the urge to edit while reading. I wasn’t expecting to have to do that. There are lots of pages. Thousands and thousands of words. It’s going to take a few days before I can actually start writing again.

On the Terrors of a Blank Screen

Yesterday I found myself staring at a blank screen.

See, on Scrivener each scene gets its own space and when I start a new scene, the screen is blank. And the last time I worked on the WiP, I stopped before I wrote a single word of the new scene. When I saw that blank screen, it scared me so much I just stared at it for a while. Would start to write something, change my mind, start again and stop, over and over and over again.

I have faced the blank screen before. I do it for every flash or short story I start. But yesterday it scared me more than it usually does.

It wasn’t writer’s block (not sure I believe in writer’s block anyway.) I knew what was going to happen in the scene, the characters, how they were going to react to each other, the layout of the room.  But I couldn’t get it on paper (screen).

Finally, I decided change what it shows me so I could see everything I’d written so far. That helped. I actually wrote a couple paragraphs. Of course I dumped half of what I wrote in the trash file (as opposed to deleting it entirely).

Managed a 100 something words before the headache got so bad I couldn’t write anymore.Better than nothing, but still, it’s not good.

I think the lesson I’ve learned here is to write a few lines in the next scene before stopping for the night.