Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Mid-Way Blues

"The easiest thing to do on earth is not write."
~William Goldman

Well, it’s happened. I’ve officially hit the mid-point of my latest WIP, One Night in Memphis, and I want to be anywhere but there.

I’m just about half-way, and I’m at that point where my characters are starting to bother me, and I see an uphill climb of plot ahead of me. I’m bored. I can’t believe I ever thought this was a good story to begin with. I have about 3 other stories percolating in the back of my brain, wanting attention. Now.

One of the pieces of advice I always give to new writers is to soldier on, to finish what you start, because we all know there are oceans of aspiring authors who don’t.

But what happens when it’s hard to take your own advice?

I procrastinate. I work on promotional ideas for One Night in Boston. I blog-surf. I play games. And then, when I’ve killed as much time as I possibly can, I turn back to the manuscript. I sigh. I curse. I mess with the formatting or change the characters’ names.

Eventually, I do slog on. I muddle through another scene. I produce a decent word count (though not as much as I should), and I hope that the end is somewhere in sight. You know the one I’m talking about: that shiny, happy resolution where suddenly, you like your characters again, you believe in your story, and you’re sorry to see it end.

I have to believe that it’s out there. I have to believe that my characters will get me there.

But man, those mid-way blues are hard to beat sometimes. Anyone have a remedy or two they’d like to offer up?

P.S. Tomorrow is Writers’ Wednesday, and I’ll be blogging about how to deal with rejection in the publishing world. Make sure to stop back and comment (there’s an incentive…)!


Marianne Arkins said...

Ugh... I'm there myself on TWO stories: Camilla and the latest secret baby cowboy story I'm working on for Wild Rose. It's a struggle... every last word.

Wish I had advice. I don't. I have Gold Miner. Damn you (again).

Judy said...

I don't have any advice either. I find I'm more interested in my story when I don't know what's going to happen. Once I've figured out the end of the story, I pretty much lose interest... lol... not a good thing for a writer.

bunnygirl said...

Can you maybe write ahead and then go back and fill in the gaps? I've done that before. Sometimes it works, sometimes I just end up with more outtakes for the outtake page. But it keeps me writing, keeps me in my characters' heads, and sometimes gives me some clues about how to manage the middle.

And if you don't have a written outline, this is where one can come in handy. Write to the outline, and if the characters fight it, okay, change the outline, but it's another way I've been able to keep soldiering on.

Good luck!

Diane Craver said...

Great title for your post! I did the same thing with one of my books and changed the characters' names so I'd feel like finishing it. And that helped to make it seem fresh again.

Bunnygirl has great suggestions. I think skipping ahead and going back again to the troublesome spot helps. I hope you find the incentive to finish your One Night in M.

Allie Boniface said...

Thanks, everyone. It helps to know I'm not alone!