The manuscript for my second book should be done now… but I’m flagging. I seem to be having trouble sitting still and focusing on my book for long periods of time. I have, I’ve realized, a common case of the horrible middle blues.
There can be many reasons for this, but an interesting one I’ve recently read about is a clash between the outlined plot of the story, and the characters who drive the story. Outlines are a the best way to harness a story, but my experience is that art can be a slippery thing to handle.
Sometimes your characters just don’t want to follow the outline. You spend the whole beginning of your book developing a character, but when you reach the point of enthusiastically releasing him into the middle of the story: he flounders.
Characters may strike out unexpectedly or overreact emotionally… sometimes you are forced to make them do things that seem out of character and then you wast time trying to explain just why they did… all in the name of sticking to your outline.
So if you are like me, perhaps it’s time to disseminate your outline and return to the point in your story that you loved the best. Now listen to your characters. What do they want to do?
Or I suppose,
I could kill them all and start anew.
I bid you now ado.