Ugh. I have officially hit the middle, and it is one ugly, muddled mess. Things keep popping up in my story that need more presence in the beginning, characters haven’t decided if they’re major or minor, events transpire that are based on actions that have happened in the past, but don’t exist in the manuscript yet.
If, my friend you find yourself muddling through the middle, rest assured, you are in good company.
I don’t know why the middle is hard, but it is. I’d be willing to bet money that the reason it’s hard is because the actions of the
muddle middle depend so much on the outcome of the story. Even if you are a very detailed outliner, you still might be surprised at how your story ends. So we end up wandering around in the middle of our books trying to figure out exactly what our characters are doing and why it matters.
I know how I want my story to end. I know exactly where I want it to go. However, I have a cast of characters who seem to have their own ideas and keep making things difficult for me.
On the plus side, by the time this post is published, I will have passed the midpoint and will be on my way to the third act. I’m hoping that as I draw closer to the end of the book, things become clearer and my mood improves, because right now? I feel like a big fat failure. (No wonder no one ever shows off their first draft. Not only is it embarrassing, but it doesn’t make any sense at all!)
I do have a point to all my complaining: don’t get discouraged if you find by the middle of you book, you’re crabby, lost, and wondering why on earth you thought this “book-writing” thing was a good idea. You are not alone. It’s hard, but you need to have the confidence that “future you” can figure it out and fix it in revisions. (That’s why revisions exist.)
In the meantime, join me in wallowing in self pity as we muddle through the middle together. We can to this!