The Dreaded Middle

How did Thursday roll around so fast? How is this possible? All week I've had the mental note: Write your blog post for Thursday! And now it's late Thursday night, I'm brain dead, and I don't know what to post about. So, as usual, I revert to something that's been on my mind: Beginning a novel. Maybe I've written about this before, but here we go again. This will just be an expansion on rants and the possible methods to overcome.

Personally, I love starting a new book. (Really, that's all I do.) Everything is so full of possibilities and fresh, new ideas. I have this beautiful notion built up in my mind that this will be the novel that I finish next, that this novel will be perfect and beautiful and riveting. Agents won't be able to turn me away. Everything will come together perfectly, the characters will be real and endearing like Elizabeth Bennet or Edward Ferras (Can you tell I adore Jane Austen?) Yada, yada, yada. I hit a hard wall of reality when I come to...

...the middle. The middle of the novel. Oh, how I loathe you. Really, just to put it bluntly, you suck, middle. This is supposed to be the most amazing part of the story. The meat in the sandwich, so to speak. This is the part that the incredible plot weaves together and claws at the reader, forcing them in. Why, when I have the beginning and the end all planned out, does the middle defeat me so easily?

Just a few methods that have worked for me. One, I run to a friend. Crying and shrieking like some kind of mindless cave woman, I thrust my story at them and whimper, "How? How do I do this?" Usually that outside perspective - something I've preached about before, so I'll keep this to one sentence - gives me some new direction. Two, I listen to some amazing music. You guys probably all have your writing music all picked out. I myself enjoy Yiruma. And then, for method number four - last resort, something I really never do - I give the story a break. I shouldn't even put that as a method, because if I leave a story for a while, chances are, I won't go back.

I keep saying it like a broken record, but this really is one thing I've really learned as a writer. Keep going. No matter what, no matter how horrible the story turns out to be after the last word is written. Because after the first draft of that novel is completed, you can only move forward.

What do you guys do when you hit your middles?