Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Muddle in the Middle

I didn't make either of my Nano goals this year, but I had a great time, and I've reached the muddle in the middle of a new novel with all new characters.  It's a lot of fun.

The muddle in the middle reminds me a lot of the middle game in chess.  Surviving the middle game is a huge hurdle when you're learning to play chess.  Thriving in the middle game separates the accidental winners and losers from chess masters, who exploit the chaos as much as possible.

I think writing through the muddle in the middle is really similar.  At some point surviving it (rather than taking weird plot turns or losing characterization/plot in a weak and complicated mangle of words) becomes thriving becomes mastering that muddle and turning it to your advantage.  I don't feel like I'm really thriving there yet, but this time around I feel like I can see more clearly than I ever have before.  It still feels complicated, but my characters and the plot haven't gotten lost.

Nothing to do but plunge onward and see what happens next!

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