There’s a sort of magical wonderland that occurs when you’ve reached the “almost halfway” mark. It’s like Tuesday. Tuesday is almost Wednesday, which is halfway through the week. You can say you’ve gone somewhere when you’ve hit Wednesday. Tuesday, though? Man, that’s just one day after Monday! You’ve barely even started! If you can’t take Tuesday, then you’re just screwed. Nobody likes Tuesdays.
I’m at Tuesday. Not far enough in the book to sit back in my chair and say “Ah yes, Barnes, well done! You’re halfway there!” But still farther than the initial excitement that comes with starting the book. It’s that awkward in-between place that just plain sucks. There’s nothing else to it. Running low on motivation, running high on stress, and running out of coffee, which is even worse.
Normally this is the part where I distract myself with research, but lately, there hasn’t been much to research. I mean, if anyone has any records of ethnic diversity in 1st-Century Jerusalem, let me know please, but until that point I’m just SOL (not a standardised test for you Virginians). I mean, I work at the library now, you’d think I could find some sources there. Nope.
Angst. At least my characters have stopped moping and have finally gotten back in the swing of things. Nothing really cripples the whole process like having characters who just won’t cooperate. The story is dictated far more by them than it ever has been by me. That’s the funny bit about writing. The story you mull over in your mind and get excited enough to put on paper in the beginning is never, EVER the same as what you turn in to your publisher or editor or whatever. Never. Show me someone who says otherwise and I will show you someone I wouldn’t lend money to. I bring this up mainly because one of those crippling changes happened the other day–in my mind, mostly, I’m not actually at the point in the book where it would really affect the flow of the story–and left me in something of an amused state of shock. I had a pretty simple plot for this one, just like the last one. It was quick. It was easy. The characters would be in and out and through time and all come home a little battered perhaps but all alive (and thankful for it).
Sorry guys. The story ran away with me again. And, once I dust myself off and get back on, I can’t wait to see where it goes.
*on a totally unrelated note, a book on editing I just checked out commented on the first page that writers “emanate anxiety like a lamp does heat.” No idea what that means.