are you stuck in the middle?

Pulling one from the archives…. But with an update: I never did set daily word count goals. I have found I make steady progress if I write/revise at least an hour a day. I rarely miss that goal. What about you? Daily word counts? Or writing time?

Charlene Newcomb

red, yellow, green leavesThere is nothing more exciting than the moment when an idea invades your brain. Characters, settings, and scenes for that next story appear out of nowhere, or come in dreams, or when you’re sitting at a stoplight. (Why are those people honking at me?)

So what do you do? You jot down a few notes and start writing. Right? 30,000 words later, you’re stuck in the middle of the novel. Burnt out. You can’t find your way to the end. That doesn’t mean you don’t know how your story is supposed to end. You just can’t figure out how to get there.

I found myself in this predicament at the 40,000 word mark of a sci fi novel I started writing more years ago than you’d want to know. The manuscript got shoved aside for more than 3 years until I re-read it and decided I was ready to tackle it…

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4 thoughts on “are you stuck in the middle?

  1. I’ve never done daily word counts; I don’t like the idea of putting myself under that kind of pressure. With countless real life commitments, I write as and when I can. In an ideal (writing) world, I’d write something every day but, on average, I’d say I write about 3 or 4 days a week, usually for an hour or so on each of those days but, as with word counts, I don’t set myself a time limit.

    • Keep it up, jadey! My only real time limit is on mornings when I have to go to work. I rarely used to write in the mornings specifically because of that. I was afraid I’d have to quit right in the middle of something exciting and not be able to pick up on it later. But, I seem to have conquered that and don’t let it stop me.

  2. Excellent, Char, an hour a day (or more sometimes if as we can manage it). This keeps you in close proximity to your material so you can make great inroads into story and character – because, even as you go about your daily non-writing business there is some thought of your novel in some recess of your mind. Thus your book is almost always with you, even though you’re not in the physical act of writing.

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