Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Last-Part-Of-The-Middle-Is- SOOO Hard!

Okay. I think we have a bunch of writers out there, so I'm asking this question of you.
 Yes, you.

 Don't think I'm talking to the person behind you.
 (Not that there is anyone, since you're on the computer... but, you know, figuratively.)

 What do you do when you've got the lion's share of the plot worked out, you've got most of the scenes written down. You even have the ending done.
 And you've got all those pesky links to link up... and you've been working on this project for SO Long, sweating over it to make it perfect.

 Your brain revolts and your interest plunges to unchartedly deep places in the black ocean...

 And now you just want to chuck the thing and take a long walk off a short pier?


 All you want to do is yell "HELLLLPPPPP!" at the top of your lungs and have some celestial being sweep in on golden wings, slap the manuscript together and say, "There. Done."

Red Line= Writing Ideal ~ Green Line= Reality
 I'm hitting the hard, gravel grade that comes before cresting the summit on mountain roads. Have you ever climbed a mountain road?  (Agony!)
 I have, and believe me, the stretch right before the top is when you're murderously thinking "Who's dumb idea was this? It's not worth it! I can't believe I let anybody talk me into this." And "....why don't I turn around and go home....?"

 That is also what happens in novel writing. But it is of course your own idea, and so you can't blame anyone else.

 So, here we are.
  We're past the halfway mark, and not yet to the finish, and that is always the hardest part!

  The very last gasp!
      (But it takes so loooong!)

 
 How do you handle that "last part of the middle is soo hard!" feeling? Do you have ways of combating?
 Tell me!

 I need HELLPPP.

7 comments:

Kelsey Bryant said...

Oh, Elizabeth, I know what you're going through! I feel your frustration. I went through this very thing just a few weeks ago. I don't have surefire methods, but what helped me finish was plunging ahead and writing all that I knew at the moment needed to be included (I might have missed something and that particular part might feel rushed) and sink back with relief. I think going back over the whole book now I've gotten that troublesome part written will help me better see what more is needed to tie everything together. A second draft is a good thing!
That may or may not be helpful to you. I mainly wanted to let you know you're not alone. I'm proud of you for getting to this point of your book! It's practically finished! What are a few pages?
I'd be interested to hear someone else's ideas, too, because I always have the same kind of trouble.

Elizabeth K. said...

Aww, Kelsey! Thank-you! You're method seems similar to the one my sister keeps advocating... I'm struggling to implement it, but for my "messy writing style" it's hard to keep that imaginative spark alive when I know *exactly* what must happen in this scene. There's so little room for surprise, and that's on of the things that really gets me on a roll... when I'm able to discover small things as I write along.
I am trying to pull out any little "stop" that I can as i finish these Must-Needs scenes, but it's kind of like pulling teeth.
Thanks for being proud of me, though! That's sweet of you! :-)
And, yes! I hope a few folks will share there "last ditch strategies" with us.
E.

Sarah Scheele said...

I've had oodles of times when I'm suddenly not able to work on the story anymore. It's usually because there is something wrong with the plot. I can't see it yet, but the story knows it and won't let me go on. If I leave it alone for awhile, it usually rights itself. Besides, in the middle of every project, there's a point where it gets overwhelming. It's good to take a rest.

In the past, I've tended to scream, despair, rant, hate my book, hate myself, and hate writing. But that was awful, so now I just give up and relax. There's nothing more frustrating than ALMOST having it--just a few chapters--and then it dies on you. But if the story really wants to be written, it won't let itself be abandoned for long.

Joseph said...

Elizabeth,

I empathize completely. The struggle belongs to us all, but like Solomon once wrote, "This too, shall pass."

Give yourself a pause and a pat on the head, then once more, into the fray. Besides, if it was easy, anyone could do it. Okay, I've used up all my cliches.



Elizabeth K. said...

Awww... Joseph, I like all your cliches! There's a reason they're still around...
And strangely enough, they've made me feel better. :-) Thanks!

Sarah: to tell you the truth, I'm too tired to scream or rant at this point. But, yes, that feeling is an old acquaintance.
Okay, what you guys are saying is, there is no easy fix. :-(
I guess I should have guessed that. ;-)
Thanks for chiming in and making me feel less alone!! I shall soldier on after I let my head clear a bit.
Best wishes to you all on your projects!

Hannah Scheele said...

I have never yet finished anything. Maybe someday I'll manage it. I totally know that feeling you have... writer's block stinks!

Anonymous said...

I put the manuscript on the table by my bed, and forget about it, until, the subject or chapter speaks back to me. Usually within a week, I know what I want to write next.