I need to do an update so I will make this as coherent as my sleep deprived brain will allow.
Normally my work day starts at 7am. I get up at 5am to catch a train which takes me to SF and I ride my bike from there. Today my body insisted that I was, in fact getting up at 4am to get my ass to work by 6am and it can’t quite figure out why.
The good news is that I somehow managed to put another 8000 or so words into my new novel.
The bad–or maybe good–news is that I am now reaching that middle area where characters start to figure out what happens. I call it the cruising altitude of the book, where there is maybe less action, but a lot more weirdness. At 25k words, I would say I have at least another 60k to go, but I like where things are headed.
It’s easy to understand why so many people abandon novels halfway. I have abandoned two so far, something I am not proud of. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t always go back to them and finish them out. After all, it’s your story. You can do whatever the fuck you want with it. But writing a novel is a massive commitment, and like a marriage, once you get past that lovey-dovey honeymoon phase and into the middle of the book, the real work begins.
Plot holes that started out as cracks in the beginning now look like gaping chasms. That character name you thought was great at page 5 now seems like the dumbest name you ever could have used. In fact, now you are sick of even looking at that character because every time you say the name in your head it is like mental fingernails down a chalkboard.
It is important to remember that all these feelings are normal. If it helps, remember that Stephen King almost didn’t finish The Stand. Sometimes you get to a precipice in a story where you have a hard time seeing the end of the road. It is times like this to remember that you can always make it better in the next draft. Rough drafts are supposed to suck.
So stop looking at what you have written, all the holes in your plot, all the terrible dialog and just finish the goddamn story already.