So, I’m about 13 days into NaNoWriMo, and still working on my new book. I’m not really writing as fast as I’d like — not even averaging 1000 words a day. But I *am* making progress.
It’s interesting: I felt like I’d prepared well in advance, with one exception. I didn’t get to visit the setting of the middle of the book (a local landmark) before November 1st. Because I outlined in advance, I know pretty much what I want to write in each chapter. But I’m having a lot of problem with the middle scenes, largely because I can’t picture the setting as well as I’d like. G-d willing, we’ll take care of this on Sunday by making a family visit to that location.
I’m also finding writing the “middle act” of the book challenging for other reasons. The middle act is notoriously hard to write, because it tends to sag. You need to maintain suspense, and keep tightening the screws on the main character, while slowly guiding him or her to the ultimate conclusion.
Beginnings are challenging to write, as are conclusions. But I think middles are the hardest of all.
The good news is that because I outlined, I’ve been able to write the final three chapters of the book even with a big, empty spot in the center of the manuscript. I’ll probably gets some of that middle act written within the next couples days, and then hopefully that visit on Sunday will help me pull everything together.
Another strange thing happening is that I’m so focused on writing right now that I’m having problems reading fiction right now. Reading someone else’s well-written middle act, complete with intense suspense, is kinda more than I can handle! Instead of being an escape, a couple novels stressed me out! I’m hoping to polish them off after I get over the middle act hump.
In non-NaNoWriMo news: I wrote a short story I’m hoping to workshop this week with my writing group. My husband thinks it’s very, very weird, but a friend enjoyed it very much last week, and I have high hopes. I’ve also got a couple essays I’m working on.
Writers: what are you working on? Let me know in the comments.