Meet Me In The Middle
by Clare O'Donohue
What stage in your writing process causes the most angst? Drafting, revising, plotting...?
Let's get the easy stuff out of the way.
Coming up with stories? Simple. I have more stories than I will ever live to write.
Characters? Mostly easy. Some of them pop out of me fully formed, others take a while to develop but they find their way and feel, at least to me, like real people.
Dialogue? Usually my favorite part. I like talking, as anyone who knows me can attest, and often my mouth says things my brain wishes it hadn't. But when I'm writing I can edit out the stuff that I don't want to say.
First 50 pages? Now we're getting a bit higher up on the difficulty stage. In some books this part is easy, but in others I've stared for days at a page with only the words "Chapter One" written on them.
Middle of the book? This is the angsty part. The "am I going to finish" part. The "why am I doing this" part. The "I think I need brownies" part. This gives me trouble, pretty much every time. The first half of a book is easier for me because I'm opening up the story, leaving clues, letting the characters have free rein. But then, as I hit that middle part, I have to start moving in a specific direction. Playtime is over and I have to make their actions and their words lead to something that will satisfy me, and satisfy the reader.
The End? Sometimes a bit of a difficulty, but mostly (and maybe just because I see the finish line) it feels fun.
The rewrite? Yes please. As Robin pointed out yesterday, editing is easier than writing, so even a bad first draft has a fighting chance if it makes it to this stage.
Being completely done? This is when I (quite literally) dance to celebrate my accomplishment.