Jim Butcher and the “Great Swampy Middle”

I held off on posting today, just in case the Supreme Court handed down their health care opinion. My idea was that I could blather on about it, Lionel Hutz-style.

So, what should I write about instead? Well, how about my writing? You see, I’ve started working on a novel, as part of a larger writing group. Right about now though, I’ve hit the middle. And even though I’ve planned and outlined, my internal editor is screaming into my ear, insulting all of it. I’ve started doubting my characters, my story, all of it. I feel myself slowing down, focusing too much on what I’ve written, and not the writing I still need to do. We all know that first drafts are crap, but I need to keep pushing forward. The problem is, while writing the middle of a story, pushing ahead becomes harder and harder.

But thankfully, Jim Butcher (author of the Dresden Files series) has written a great post about this phenomenon: “The Great Swampy Middle.” Jim Butcher describes the phenomenon quite accurately and offers some great advice for getting past the swamp and getting more writing done.

So what am I doing? Well, I am doing a bit of retooling. I’ve changed the beginning. I’ve changed some of the characters, and I’ve added more detail to my plot outline. I hope it gets me past the swampy middle. Oh, and as an added distraction, I’m working on a short story for the Fantasy-Fiction anthology (submissions are due at the end of June, so I need to hurry). Ah, so much fun.