Thursday, March 20, 2014

The sagging middle

No, I'm not referring to my middle though, alas, it is sagging these days. But authors talk about the sagging middle--when you get to the middle of a work in progress and you sag, it sags, you don't know where to go. It happens to those who outline methodically and to us pantsers who have a rough idea of where we're going and leap into it.
Well, I have not even reached the middle, and I'm sagging. At 16,000 words. I think my method that I crowed about--1,000 words a day--is making it sag. I find myself thinking, "Well, what trouble can I get Kelly into in a thousand words today?" The result is an episodic work in which I'm not seeing the forest for the trees. There's no overall controlling sense in the story, even though I know there's a good basic story there to be told.
And in trying to get Kelly into trouble, I've let her become a victim, rather than the person she's been, ready to fight bear for her family and her neighborhood. At three in the morning the other night I decided that she's hopelessly passive, and I'm bored with this new Kelly--which means readers would be bored.
So I've got to start all over, give Kelly some life, work in Keisha's story, for I figured this would be Keisha's book, just as Ms. Lorna and Mike had their books in Trouble in a Big Box and the forthcoming Deception in Strange Places (due out at the very end of July).
So here I am, waking between two and four in the morning, because the dog has a new habit of wanting to go out then, and  lying awake wondering about Kelly and her current stalker and how I can work  it out. Oh, my.
For those who think writing is easy, I beg to differ. It's sometimes like pulling teeth. The words don't come easily nor do the ideas. And I admit I am fully capable of distracting myself with a manuscript I'm to edit, a newsletter to put together, Facebook, another mystery to read--hey, that's educational, right?
For those who haven't read any Kelly O'Connell Mysteries, this is probably pretty incomprehensible. I can only hope you'll decide you have to meet all these characters.

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