Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Crossing the Middle

(duh duh duuuhh!)
Australian Outback
I’m recycling parts of my pep talk from last year because it still applies this year. Last year Maureen Johnson talked about Australia and how it is about the same size of the United States, but everyone lives along the coast. This means that there is about 2000 miles of nothing in "the Middle" and that is where all the things that can kill you live.

"Here’s the thing, though...if you're doing NaNoWriMo, you are a reader, because all writers are readers. Which means that you must admire many authors. Your shelves are lined with the works of your heroes and sheroes. Every single one of them has crossed the wild country where you are now. Every single one of them has been a resident of The Middle. The ground you're treading is full of the remains of their old campsites. And somewhere around you, just out of sight, current authors you admire are making their own way across The Middle. What's nice about NaNoWriMo is that you are traveling with a posse of thousands, all of you making your way over the mountains, through the valleys, across the creeks. You are fighting off the beasties.

And once you've crossed The Middle once or twice and you're lounging on the other side, you'll find you miss it. You'll realize you long to be out there again, under the sky and the stars. The weather changes a lot in the middle. Some days, the skies are dark and it's hard to find your way forward. Those days are long and little progress is made. Some days, it's strangely bright and clear, and suddenly you can see the horizon ahead, and dozens of possible paths present themselves to you. But every day is different, and every day there is a new way to go and a new thing to see."
Even the Middle contains beautiful vistas.

Well, I am definitely entering the MIDDLE of my book and more importantly my series. So, I feel a double middle whammy. This is the part of the second book where everything happens, and yet I have to keep building and setting up information that will be crucial in the next two books. My notes are growing. I must not forget the plan, and I must avoid the beasties that are out to kill me.

You know--the lagging word count, the blank pages waiting to be filled, the editor that is now prying the bars off her prison dying to get a hold of the words you’ve written, the dead ends, the surprise plot twists that YOU never saw coming, etc…

This week will be the biggest challenge, but we can all press on, wrap our scarves around our faces to ward off the sandstorm of this desert and keep walking forward.

We all cross the Middle several times in our lives, even if you’re not trying to write a novel. I am now 36, definitely in the MIDDLE of this so called life. My kids are not grown, but they are not babies--the MIDDLE. We finally make enough money to pay the bills, but not enough to save very much each paycheck--please say this is the MIDDLE! And so on...but I love knowing that I have good friends all around me who are crossing the MIDDLE at the same time.

Even on days when I hide at home and cannot see the progress, I know they are out there trudging through the sand dunes (or mud here in Charlotte), cutting past the vines of the jungles (poison ivy anyone?) and doing their best just like me. Isn't it good to know that each day is filled with such wonderful opportunities?

For my fellow wrimos, see you when we make it to the beach!

Beginning of Day 17 Nano report:
Word count: 22,020 words
Chapters written: 3
Body Count: 5 + 1 wounded and 1 who just lost a finger
Chases/near escapes: 2