Monday, August 17, 2020

Stuck In The Middle

Now that we are just a smidgen by the middle of summer, or maybe a little more than a smidgen but we'll pretend we aren't. Writers can do that with ease. But what some seem stuck on from the tweets going out or that articles asking for advice is trying to get from the middle to the end of their current work in progress.

No writer's block at play. Stuck is the word of the day when it comes to the middle. Not sure a day needs a word, but today we will give it stuck. Not that it cares. Days don't have feelings so I think we are safe. See? I just proved the opposite too. Sometimes there is too much to say in the middle and the old making a long story short needs to come into play. Now on with it we go.

Can't get by the middle? Still stuck? Maybe you aren't.

You may have a plan. Plans change.

You may think there is more story. Thoughts change.

You may need more story. (For word count to submit or the like) Needs change.

Maybe this isn't the story to submit. Maybe this story isn't at the middle. Maybe you are stuck because you are more than a smidgen by the middle. Maybe you are actually near the end.

Sometimes you have to change your train of thought and then you become unstuck. A better word of the day. Short stories could be long stories and long stories could turn out to be short stories. Instead of dictating to your story, your story may be dictating to you.

This is it. This is all you get. Take it or leave it.

Wow. Your story sounds harsher than the day and its word. But it may be true.

But what if it is not?

Determination could be at hand. You could make it drag by adding more words and your determination makes it the middle. That kind of unstuck isn't always the best. Thinking about the why can factor out that determination and also allow you to realize you may be near the end.

Of course there are times when one is just stuck. What to do?

Take a break. Work on another story. Watch or read something else to get the brain going in other directions. Take a walk or exercise in some other way. Play with the kids. Just do something that gets your mind off of it and onto something less stressful. This too can allow you to see if you are well by the smidgen or right in the middle. Clarity from stepping away.

Do you get stuck in the middle? Have you found that you weren't actually at the middle and near the end? Maybe closer to the start than the middle? Can you ramble like me? Do you have a word of the day?

Hopefully stuck isn't it and some unstuck came due as you read through.


nashvillecats2 said...

I am literally stuck in the middle of a new book I was writing to "Celebrate" my late son's life, since this pandemic has highlighted this year I am at a loss what to write.
Enjoyed your post Pat, have a good Monday and new week.
Keep well.

Denise (Baer) Haschka said...

I get stuck from time to time. Being with nature, walks, bike rides, clear my head. I also have to remind myself that it's a rough draft. Rough drafts can transform into something unplanned.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sometimes the middle isn't the middle - I like that idea.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I have one story I'm stuck on the middle and I'm trying to figure out how to connect the solid beginning with the stellar ending.

Fundy Blue said...

HaHa, Pat! I knew reading the first line that you had written this post! Are you stuck in the middle? You seem to be playing a lot with those cute kiddos, Uncle Pattie! My word for the day is "Word," as in Microsoft Word. Now that I've gotten a subscription and installed it yesterday, I can get unstuck with my northern manuscript. My new computer wouldn't open any of my Word Documents which is where all my northern work is. Now I have a workaround., even if it's a pain. Here's to the rest of summer!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Loved your post. I've been struggling with the chapter I'm writing, so I just have been writing it in four paragraphs to a page every day. I should finish it today or tomorrow.

Jemi Fraser said...

This is timely for me! What I thought was going to be midpoint stuff happened WAY earlier in the story. But the characters appear to have a plan so I'm going with it for now!

Pat Hatt said...

Nashville - hopefully can get unstuck soon

Denise - good to remind yourself that it is a rough draft

Alex - can't always assume it's the middle

Diane - hopefully the connection shows

Fundy Blue - haha have I become that obvious? Not stuck in the middle as I just go play with the kids. Good that you found a workaround that will hopefully work out!

Natalie - Found a way, good approach to do it.

Jemi - The characters sure can dicatate where it will go many a time

Juneta key said...

Great tips and points.

Mirka Breen said...

Ah, that Middle Melancholy... I know it well and anticipate it. It's where the "plow-though-it" muscle is most needed. Good tips!

cleemckenzie said...

Ah yes, the old middle of the story doldrum. I know them well. Your suggestions for putting wind back in your sails are all good. Sometimes, I just skip that pesky part that refuses to cooperate and write the end. Sometimes that gives me the push I need.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

All these good thoughts help. Tomorrow I'm going to tell my story it's time to write. Thanks.