It’s not so much the middle in itself that gives me trouble, but I have an assortment of other things that can get in the way of forging on to the end.
1) Concentration and Focus: Once I get past chapter four, I can usually keep going at a steady pace except when my kids are home, emails that need to be answered, critiques need to be repaid, etc. It’s not the middle that gets me, it’s my lack of focus. Having been diagnosed with Inattentive ADD, there are times I’ve wonder if a trip to doctor for a prescription would make me less scattered and more attentive to the work at hand.
2) I’m not worthy! Doubt is a big problem. My editor loved Revealers so much she used all sorts of capital letters and exclamation marks in an email after she read the first draft. While writing Devoured I couldn’t shake the feeling that this story wouldn’t get as much LOVE!!!!!! I mean how do you top all the !!!!!! ? It’s sometimes hard to write wondering if lovely editor will only like the new story—without all the exclamation marks. Luckily, lovely agent was on hand to read parts of the drafts and cheer me on.
3) Double Doubt: Then there’s reader doubt. Will new readers like Devoured even though it’s not chock full of vampires, witches, demons, werewolves and ghosts? Are one ghost, a magic mirror and a curse enough to satisfy Revealer fans?
4) Story Schizophrenia: I’ve said it before, but just when I get rolling with my wip, new stories come calling—and calling—and calling—begging to get some airtime. And sometimes they won’t shut up until they see their names in print in their very own Word file. All this makes the wip characters quite upset as their story was supposed to be getting top priority. It’s hard to make everyone happy.
5) Deadlines: The very best way I’ve found to keep plugging past the middle is to have the deadline looming. That makes it much easier to shut down the extraneous voices in my head, ignore the laundry, and lets me forge ahead.