I am thick in the murky middle and not sure where to go.
My second novel was off to a grand start. I had a solid outline, strong characters and a topic I am really excited about but now I am stuck. And by that I mean up to my kneecaps in the murky middle with no end in sight.
Photo by Francesco Gallarotti on Unsplash
This was my year to rock and roll with NaNoWriMo and I was doing well until I hit day 15 of writing approximately 1,667 words a day.
On October 31st, I was ready to go. Outline complete and characters whispering their truth in my ears. Okay I guess I better clarify with my outline. I only had the first couple of chapters broken down. So about 20,000 words were planned ahead. Maybe that’s why I am struggling now?
I just checked my word count and it is exactly 25,051 and the last time I wrote was the end of November…it’s almost mid December. It’s not that I don’t want to write I am just not sure where to take my story next.
Truth be told, I have the general idea on where the story is headed but not sure on how to get there. I have the idea but unsure of the sequence of events and the words to portray it. You know what I mean?
This novel is different from my first one and to be completely honest, I like it more. It’s the perfect mixture of adventure, humor and mystery with a hint of romance. The setting is Southwest USA which is near and dear to my heart. Seriously, I love my characters and wish we could be best friends in real life. All positive things happening and yet I just feel stuck.
Similar to my first novel, I reached the half way mark and lost the momentum of the story. I just gave up on my novel for a couple of months.
But this time is different.
I feel a pull to this current project. Like I stated earlier, this story is a little more my style of storytelling. My humor can be dark and rather dry. I am no hopeless romantic but I love reading sexual tension between 2 characters without it being too scandalous.
I love the story itself, so why am I stuck?
I am confident that I am just overthinking it and want it to be completely perfect. Instead of just putting the words on the paper, I start to wonder if my plot twist is too explicit. Or maybe I don’t know enough about this subject and I’ll come across as a fool?
So where do I go from here?
With my first novel, I finally forced myself to sit down and finish outlining. I refused to get out of my seat until the book had a complete storyline. Maybe I need to something similar with this one.
Okay I just seem to be rambling so here is my plan of action (and I am saying it out loud so hold me accountable!)
- I will finish my research.
- Next I will sit down and break the remainder of the book into three separate scenes. I will not go into explicit detail but rather bullet point the main sections.
- Once I have these sections outlined, I can review and edit the parts I dislike. This may include deleting or adding more details.
- ONCE I HAVE THIS COMPLETE — I will get back on track to writing around 2K words a day.
Whew! Now that I have my plan written on paper, I feel the motivation coursing through my veins.
So this weekend is dedicated to getting back into my story. Fingers crossed I actually follow through. All joking aside, I shall report again next week…