There is no struggle equivalent to that of starting a brand new story. That isn’t to say it’s the hardest task in the world, nor the most anguishing, but if you’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting down to a blank OpenOffice document, you know what I mean. It’s a unique sort of struggle that generally initiates a torrid love affair with the backspace key, a violent and bloody battle against your Muse (who sometimes sees fit to fight on your side against your Imagination), and a feeling at the end that can equate either to heart-bursting victory or soul-crushing defeat.
Paragraph One is usually my personal nightmare. It makes me flail, whine, and face-plant onto my keyboard, though once I get past it I generally get on a roll. It pleases me.
Then I hit the Chapter One road block. There’s this big, blinking sign in my head that says “Detour!”, so I take that detour (obviously, because what other choice do I have, right? Traffic is going that way, and backing up behind me, and I really can’t do anything but take the left my Muse is waving me toward) and find myself so completely off the Main Plot track that I get lost in the Sub-Plot Bogs of Inevitable Doom. It’s a messy place, those bogs. You get stuck and cry a lot–Have you ever seen The Neverending Story? Yeah. Exactly like that. If you have a horse, it’ll probably get sad and die, too. It’s terrible.
Sometime around Chapter Five, I manage to find the route I was on to begin with, the detour ends, and I’m happily chugging along toward The Middle. The Middle is like this big gray mass of… paste. Or… gravy. I don’t know, but it’s sticky, bland, and makes for a rough clean up. All of what I wanted for the story gets dropped into this gray gravy-paste to make a chunky stew of… whatthehellever. I braid my sub plots (scary vines I stole from the aforementioned Sub-Plot Bogs of Inevitable Doom) so I can weave a vine-bowl, and I dump my stew in. Hopefully it cooks the way I want it to, so when I eat it I can power on to a very awesome, clean-and-tidy ending.
By the end of The Middle, I’m so exhausted, I throw the ending together as quick-and-dirty as possible, polish the ball-o-plot-stew as well as I can, and give it a big fat hug.
… Before throwing it onto my flash drive to be revised when I stop feeling dirty for writing it. Beginnings make me crazy, and subsequently make me suck at middles, and resent/celebrate endings.
I even got a little lost writing this post. No more caffeine for Kit. Dear god. x_x