After having worked my through several novels now, I realize where my weaknesses lie. Some people struggle with the right place to start a novel. Some of us dread the muddy middles.
I love starting a new novel– it’s like making new friends with all the lightheaded happiness of a new relationship. I’m just getting to know my characters, just finding their flaws and strengths, listening to them reveal themselves. It’s my favorite part.
The middle can be overwhelming, particularly if I haven’t planned my plot carefully enough or if something has happened to alter the course of my original plan. But I usually still have confidence in my characters in the middle, and we can plod through the swamp together, no matter how thick it is.
A novel should end with a bang, not whisper, it should leave the reader saying “Wow! That was a great read!” I’m perpetually afraid I’m selling my endings short. I’m very, very close to the end of my zombie novel and reaching not only the climax of the novel, but a scene that should be prove challenging to write based on the physical disabilities I’ve given my characters. There are questions to be answered before I can write the ending, and because this novel began as a short story and grew, unexpectedly, into a novel, some of the details are still a little hazy. I’m finding myself forging on, knowing I’m going to rewrite a lot, but also knowing that getting out what I can will give me the basis to finish.
One of my New Years’ resolutions was to get my work out of my computer more. As a result, I’ve entered two contests so far this year and set up my pitching session at World Horror Convention. I wrote a synopsis for one of the contests, so I know how this novel ends. I just have to get behind it and push.