The flurry of the NaNoWriMo is over and I now stare at 50,000 plus words that may or may not have advanced my plot. I find myself bogged down in that bitter middle part of the novel. You know the part of Huckleberry Finn just before the Duke and Dauphin come aboard? When I first read it, I got the feeling that Huck and Jim were drifting into a siding. They missed the turn in the fog and the story was, to me, going nowhere. Enter these two crazy characters who propel the book along for quite a spell and then, once they’re gone, we’re back in a weird boxy no-story place. I got the feeling that Twain was sick of the whole damned thing and threw Tom Sawyer into the mix because he was at a loss as to how to finish up what had started so well.
It was my introduction to disappointment in a novel, something that has repeated again and again.
Maybe it’s that I don’t have the finely attuned concentration to give a novel my all from end to end, or maybe it’s elevated expectation at fault. Whatever the cause, I have found the bulk of novels I read tend to sag in exactly the same place. This is bad enough as a reader, but as the person responsible for the monstrosity it’s far, far worse. I find myself pursuing false starts and silly asides, hoping for that glimmer in the woods that shows me the road out. Maybe I need to take a break, but I don’t think so.
I’ll get back to you on how this turns out.