where the writers are
The muddle in the middle
With a very tight middle!
Amazon.com Amazon.com
Powell's Books Powell's Books

Having just reached the precise middle of my current novel--I think--I've been remembering how some of my colleagues and I laugh, albeit ruefully, about the "piece of shit stage".  This is the point, too often, where you know the book is no good, where you realize you've wasted six months of your time, where you understand no one will ever want to read it, not your agent, not your editor, not your fans.  It's a piece of shit, and you should have known that at the beginning.

Fortunately for me, at this angst-ridden point I have my family to remind me that I feel this way every time, with every book.  My mentor and guide, Connie Willis, says that reversals are the answer to middle-of-the-book problems.  That works for me, as I'm something of an organic writer.  I synopsize, and I always know what my ending is, but in the middle of a book, I seem to struggle.

Looking for inspiration, I found this rather wonderful post on solving that middle muddle, from fellow Red Roomer Kay Kenyon, who writes about the "tight abs" of a novel.  I'll let her wise and funny words close this post.  I have to go figure out the middle of my novel!