For me, the first half of the book is the toughest. Once I round that corner, the second half seems to fly out of the tips of my fingers. I can’t type fast enough to keep up with the story, pouring from my exhausted, aching brain.
Not so, the first half. The first half is slow. Painful. Revised. Revised again. Scenes added. Scenes deleted. Character arcs that were supposed to be one way morph into something different because some bossy character just had to do something different. My beta reader gets that look on her face and says something like, “Well, it’s a nice story so far, but, well, nothing really happened.”
Oh crap! Did I forget to add the conflict?
Did I mention that I outline before I write? I swear I create an outline just so my characters can laugh at it and go merrily on their way, doing whatever the hell they want. The only good news is that I can use the same outline for the next book because this book won’t resemble that outline in any shape or form when I’m done. Okay, it does resemble the outline, but there have been many major and minor deviations.
So, I’m starting a new book this week. I have my character sketches, complete with growth arcs, and an outline with external conflict. Here I go. Let’s see how close the book is when I’m done. I’ll say what I always say when I start a new book.
I’m going to stick to this outline, dammit.