The Soggy Middle

No, I’m not referring to my stomach (though I could be.) The soggy middle, in the writing world, means that middle part of your story that sort of isn’t right. It feels disjointed, not connected to the energy of the beginning and too far removed from the end when the will to write returned.

That is the place where I am currently at with my Nanowrimo (NAtional NOvel WRiting MOnth) project for November. Despite having an actual outline this year so such a middle wouldn’t occur…here we are. It’s like a trampoline at this point. Am I worried? No. Annoyed? yes.

Five years I’ve participated in Nanowrimo. I’ve only ‘won’ 2 times. (You ‘win’ if you can write 50,000 words in November.) My two certificates are on my wall. The third, on the right, is one my daughter made for me when my hands cramped up to the point I couldn’t finish. (I now have an ergonomic keyboard. Lesson learned.)

There is plenty of wall space to add my third winning certificate. That means I need to muddle through my soggy middle and not get hung up on the fact that I go off on tangents or nothing really interesting is happening at the moment. It doesn’t matter in draft one, and it certainly doesn’t matter for NaNoWriMo. Word count is the game, not a finished manuscript. You can’t improve upon what isn’t done. NaNoWriMo forces you to get out of your own way, not overthink your plot, and just write.

My current count before today’s words are written.

As you can see, I’ve been doing just a little above what I needed to write daily (1,667 words) but the last few days…I’m doing the bare minimum, which may be my downfall. It’s only November 13! There are going to be days I won’t have time to sit down and right. I need to get ahead of this soggy middle and onto the good stuff so I have the momentum to get a day or two ahead. Otherwise, I’ll be writing on Thanksgiving, and no one wants to do that.

You may be wondering if I plan on using the words I wrote for the NaNoWriMo count. I could…but I won’t. It isn’t part of the project I’m working on and thus, would be going against my goal of getting this YA draft done this month.

I’m off to write 1667 words…or maybe even a few more. Until next week friends!

Danielle Bannister, Author and counter of words this month


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