Sometimes I hit a point in a story where I discover that I’m having trouble writing it. I’m good at beginnings, and I’m good at endings. I was at a point like that earlier this morning. I was looking at my draft with no idea what to do next. I started typing, just random things from my viewpoint characters day, things he was doing, things he was worried about – and the next bit came to me. It took about five minutes of actual writing.
For me at least that’s the key. Just start writing, and figure it out from there. See, I know the shape of this book, and I know the final scene (it’s heartbreaking and poignant) rather well… What I don’t have yet is all of the middle. Now, normally it’s different because I’m working with a strong plot, but this novel isn’t like that. There is a lot more character growth, and a lot less plot.
Even when I have my strongly plot driven novels I run into those points, where the prose isn’t flowing, the events are transitions from one thing to another thing. It’s challenging to make the tone feel right for those pieces. It also makes me much more forgiving of book 8 of the Wheel of Time. I have trouble keeping things moving all the time when I’m writing 60 – 70 thousand words. Robert Jordan wrote more like 200 thousand per book (and up). Of course at least a couple of books would drag a bit.