Why? For every book?

Some people turn on the spigot and words pour out.  They can reach over 100,000 words, then have to cut.

Not me.  My words are stingy, little boogers that make me work for every single one of them.

As always, for every book I write, when I reach the near end of the second middle (near 54,000 words), I look at my plot points and panic.  I just know I don’t have enough ideas and twists to reach 70,000+ words.  I think that EVERY time.  And guess where I am in Jazzi book 5 now?  Yup.  Almost 54,000 words.  And I’m worried.

I have more plot points, mind you.  More ideas.  More suspects and questions and clues.  But at this point, my writing momentum starts to fizzle.  I always start out strong.  The first fourth of every book is an adventure, introducing new characters, new subplots, a new murder to solve.  And then the middle muddle starts, but my middles are sort of divided in half.  The second fourth of the overall book leads to a new turning point.  And often–sadly–since I write mysteries, I end up with a second dead body at the middle of the book–a victim who changes the direction of the story, makes my protagonist rethink her original opinions.  It’s the third fourth of each book that slows me down.  It feels like pulling teeth to keep the momentum going, to keep interviewing one person after another and keep it interesting and keep subplots chugging along.

I’m almost to the last fourth of the story, and that’s when things start to pick up, when my story gathers speed and clues start coming together.  I’m almost there.  I can feel it.  And then the days of sitting fanny in chair and plodding and sweating will pay off.  By next Monday, I’ll be ready for my fingers to fly over the keyboard again.  Until then, well . . . I have a little more to go.

Wherever you are in your work, keep at it, and happy writing!

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9 thoughts on “Why? For every book?

  1. Jacquie Biggar

    Those sagging middles are the worst! Not sure if this would help in your case, but I started watching Hallmark movies and noticed the middle of the story seemed to be the ‘happy’ time, for want of a better word. When the characters are coming together and life seems peachy- until it’s not 🙂

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  2. Mae Clair

    I always–always–have that panic moment, but for me it happens in the last quarter of the book as I work to tie all my plot threads together. Because I pants my novels (something I’m trying to change moving ahead) that last quarter can be a mess to tie together since I have no idea how it’s supposed to fit.

    I know you’ll work through the muddle. You always do! 🙂

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  3. mlrover

    The worries start for me when the writing becomes too easy. That sets off alarms that I’m doing something wrong. It should be more difficult, then remember that I’ve been doing this for 40 years and some of it should come easier. I rely on beta readers, especially you, to tell me I’ve made a mess and just keep writing.

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