The Middle (Or How I Avoided Writing)

While EVERGREEN is still in the Query trenches, I’m still working on “Haven’t Found The Title Yet.” Now I’m not officially participating in NaNoWriMo this year, but I’m trying to take advantage of recovering from surgery to get as much writing in as I can. I suppose that makes me an unofficial NaNo participant. (In other words: There’s no way I’ll hit the 50,000 word mark during Nov. Following doctors orders to limit what I do for now.)

Today, though, I kind of hit a wall. I’m at that crucial point, the part of the story that makes you wonder why you started writing this MS in the first place. I’ve set up my characters, introduced the MC’s goals, created conflict, set the Inciting Event in motion. And now, where am I? That scary bugger of a beast called THE MIDDLE.

Being a pantser by nature makes THE MIDDLE even more frightening. I have a plot outline, know where the story is going to turn and I have a point of no return in mind. It’s all there in my head. The question is, how to get there from where I am.

If you’re in the same boat, sadly, I can offer you no advice.

What I can do is tell you what I did today to avoid the Big Bad Middle.

1. I slept late because I have a raging cold and I need the rest. (How can I write when I’m siiiiiick? My head is too congested to think properly.)

2. While flopping around in the bed to get the correct distribution of gunk in my head that will allow me to breathe, I briefly considered making my MC get the flu. Decided against it as I don’t want to gross my readers out.

3. I finally got up out of the bed because I depleted my within-reach tissue supply.

4. I had to check my email, Facebook, and Twitter feeds. What? Something important could have happened during the course of my Nyquil-induced coma.

5. During this very important search for the latest news, I discovered that it’s Veteran’s Day so THANK YOU TO ALL WHO SERVE; I had a moment of sheer panic when Norman Reedus tweeted that he’s getting his hair trimmed today; Also, I can get a large one-topping pizza for only $8.99,

6. I take the Buzzfeed “How Well Do You Remember The Walking Dead, Season 1?” quiz. Because, I HAVE TO  KNOW IF I REMEMBER EVERYTHING. I scored 18/19. “I’m a hero. I’m ready to lead the team!” (I’m telling ya kids, stick with me in the Zombie Apocalypse.)

6.1  *Convinces self it’s ONLY A TRIM*

7. I opened my WIP, read through the last scene I wrote. Not bad, Collins. Not bad. But I wondered if I needed a little more authenticity. RESEARCH!!

8. Fourteen rabbit holes later, I have determined I don’t really need to know the exact dates of Bluefin Tuna fishing season in Maine after all.

9. Tissues. I need more tissues.

10. I tell myself to stop stalling and write. BICHOK. (Butt In Chair, hands On Keyboard for those not in the know.) What I wrote is turning out to be one of my favorite scenes in the book thus far.

There’s really no moral to this story other than to KEEP WRITING. Even when it’s hard, keep writing. Don’t let THE MIDDLE defeat you. Slay it with a sword (or crossbow). Work yourself through until you see the light of THE END.


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