Some writers find it difficult to start a novel, while others struggle with endings. The rest of us have a hard time in the middle.
For me, the middle section of a book is where the real hard slog lies. I usually start off at a sprint, my enthusiasm for the project carrying me along for the first 20k or 30k words. Then, inevitably, I hit a rough patch and the energy wanes. I start to doubt that all my plot points will gel, or worry that I've focused on the wrong character. Sometimes I even think that I've written the wrong novel - or a third of it, anyway.
When I'm working on a novel I usually try to write a chapter a day. While that's usually not possible in reality, it remains my target, and my average is probably around 2k words per day. When I hit the middle section, however, that all goes out the window and I'm happy if I can hit 5k words a week...
With DEAD BAD THINGS I managed to get through the part where I usually falter without actually stopping, but then I hit the same set of problems again a few thousand words later and things began to drag. It's strange, because the story is all there - in my head. It just doesn't seem to want to come out as easily as it did a few weeks ago.
I have to hand in the novel to my publisher at the beginning of August, which leaves me about three months to get it finished and edited. I'll do it; of course I will. I always do. But it's hard and it takes a lot out of me. At the end of all the hard work, though, I'll have something that makes me tingle when I flick through the printed pages. And that, my friends, is worth all the hair-pulling and self-doubt in the world.
Current word count: 47,500 words