Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Neverending WIP

That's what my story feels like right now. Like it's never gonna come to an end. When I started it back in September, I wrote with lightening speed. Every day. Then I hit a little snag and went a few days in between writing. Then I hit a major brick wall and went for a solid week without writing a word. I worked out the kinks there and everything started going smoothly again. I thought, I bet I can finish this bad boy by the end of October!

Flash forward to the end of October. Yup, still not finished. I had a lot going on in real life. You know, family stuff, house to keep semi-clean, chasing around a toddler who recently discovered the joys of climbing. So I said, Okay, time to buckle down. Must finish first draft by the end of November.

Flash forward to the end of November. Still. Not. Finished. *Smacks self on forehead* Maybe, just maybe, I can get this done by the end of December.

Well, the good news is that I crossed over 30,000 words last night. And I realized that I'm officially in the "middle" of my story. Things are getting really tense for my characters. I'm getting impatient to see how they react to what I have planned next. But I don't want to rush things. While I do want to type "The End" very soon, I don't want to fly through and have a crappy second half to deal with later. I'm so torn over this. Some people say to just get it all out and fix the crappy parts during revisions, but others say take your time so you won't have to fix as much.

So, what do you think? How did you feel when you hit the middle part of your book?


  1. Keep it up, girl! Slow and Steady wins the race. The middle is tough, you begin feeling really accomplished, like you are finally getting somewhere. Then, you feel like you might be kind of lost in the middle and unsure of how to tie things up. Just keep writing!!

  2. Ugh! That's how I feel. Ugh. I'm in the middle of my sci fi/dystopian and I'm literally at a stand still. I'm also stuck a mere 15K away from the end of my paranormal romance. I tend to think that choosing your words carefully can't hurt. It will make you happy later when it's time for revisions.

  3. Do what's right for you. I get anxious if I start feeling rushed and anxiety does not make for good writing. Sometimes I write fast cause I'm in it, but sometimes I don't. I tend to write fast during the beginning, slow in the middle and fast again at the end. And always, always there is crap to fix. Whatever you do: don't quit. :)

  4. Don't stress, you'll finish it when you finish it. My first ms took a year to write the first draft and my last one only took 3 weeks.

    As for the middles, I hate them but they're important. Apparently.

    Good luck!

  5. Middle parts are tricky. I usually have to invent a new conflict to keep it spiced up.

    I'm editing my WIP and this too feels like it could go on forever.
    ~ Wendy

  6. I feel your pain! I started my first WIP in March, and by October only had 40,000. I put it aside to start a new one for NaNo, just to see if I could write any faster. I wrote 26,000 then, but haven't written a single word since the day before Thanksgiving. Now December is so hectic I'll probably wait until after Christmas to start back up, giving myself plenty of time to pick one and stew over how to get past the middle of it.

    So I guess what I'm saying is don't do what I did. Don't start on another MS until this one is finished, and don't let more than a day or two pass without writing a few words at least. Even if you know you'll change it later, it will keep the story fresh for you.

    As for middles? I'm stuck in two right now. Yikes!

  7. Isn't that awful? I'm stuck in two of my WIPs, but I'm so stuck that I've set them aside in favor of something that will fly from my fingers. They're simmering on the back burner of my mind. Sometimes--that's the only way for me. The muse--she is cruel.

  8. I'm in the same boat, Melane! I thought that I would finish this NaNo story during NaNo (what a novel idea, right?) but it's almost halfway through December and I am still plodding along. I've lost motivation this week. Sigh... I guess we just need to keep trucking along!

  9. The middle's hard. You want the tension to keep growing. I'm finding it hard to start a project right now because I know the finish line is so far away.

  10. Aw Melissa - don't worry. The pacing happens for a reason. I really believe it. (Not that I don't stress out monumentally when I get behind whatever schedule I've set for myself.)

    I looked back at scenes I wrote after things had been going slowly and life got in the way of writing. I had some really great stuff! And I couldn't help but to wonder if I'd ever have come up with it, had I not gotten as far behind as I did. Does that make sense?

    good luck! When I hit the middle, the rest was kind of like a snowball effect - the writing came faster and more easily :-)

  11. Middles are hard because they are twice a long as beginnings and endings. If you compare it to writing a screenplay, Act II is twice as long as Act I and III. Sometimes it helps to skip along to the ending, if you know it, then get back to the middle when you have a better idea of where you want to go.

    But I don't know, there's no easy answer on this one.

  12. Kristi - I'll have to keep that in mind:)

    Tina - Can't wait to read your dystopian. I love those.

    Valerie - I am starting to feel a little anxious!

    Jade - Oh, I hope this thing doesn't take a year to finish!

    Wendy - As a matter of fact, I do have a new conflict coming up.

    JenE - I promise I won't start another WIP until this one is finished:)

    WendyS - Oh, I know how cruel that muse can be!

    Julie - I know, sometimes it's hard to keep the motivation going.

    Patti - Good luck with your new project!

    Sara - Yes, that makes total sense! And I'm waiting for my snowball effect to kick in:)

    Elle - Welcome! Well, I sort of know the ending, but I'm a linear sort of writer. I need to finish the middle before I get to the end.

  13. I am definitely an edit-as-you-go girl. I start to freeze up if I feel I'm piling crap on top of crap. Not a good feeling.

  14. If it makes you feel better, you're doing better than me. I'm still struggling to get to that middle. And I'm not even close. Taking my time with it. So hats off to you! :)

  15. It's funny, I started on mine around the same time you did, and I'm at about the same point, setting and then missing the same goals to finish it by the end of this month or that month.

    It's frustrating, but it's an enjoyable journey, too. I think the middle is the hardest. Beginnings and endings are easier for me. I am toying with writing the last few chapters, but I want to go on the journey with my characters, so I'm holding out for now.

    Good luck with yours.

  16. I'm having a very similar experience with Perspective... the problem is that it REALLY is the novel that won't end! I've written 67K so far and I'm only a little more than 2/3 through... I've made and passed many deadlines and I've also not been able to resist going back to polish some previous chapters (I'm hoping this will make revisions easier when we get to them. but I'm not counting on it.)

  17. Rhiannon - That's exactly how I feel!

    Ellie - Thank you, and believe me, it wasn't easy getting to this point.

    Amber - That is funny! Maybe we should hold each other accountable.

    Vero - I hope you get to the end soon. I've really enjoyed your teasers:)

  18. I'm where you are. I just moved past the middle point and I know what I want to happen next, but I just can't seem to stay motivated. Mostly I feel guilty because I've neglected so many other things to write. Now I'm trying to get caught up on the house. Christmas activities have taken over too. I need to get back to it. Good luck with your writing.