Today I have passed the 44,000 word mark on my first draft on the epic fantasy. It may not be epic yet, but it’s coming along nicely.
However, I also hit the stage in the project that all my projects seem to get to. It is the point where I am unsure of what I have and starting to doubt the story. This is normal for many writers I have spoken to, and it seems the only solution that is given is to just keep going and write to the end.
For me, I take it a step further. With my outline still firmly in hand, I start to organize my text so that it begins to resemble a book.
Yes, it’s a simple thing – adding chapter titles, making sure that the text is split into pieces, creating front matter – all these things trigger my creative brain into moving forward.
Of course, the analytical side of my brain says. It’s a book! It looks like one, doesn’t it? There are just some holes that need to be filled in.
That is another step that I take as well during this stage: take stock of what you have finished, and what there is still left to do.
For me, this includes a single page, maybe front to back, that has a single line for each chapter or story point. I add a circle next to the pieces that have been started, and add a check mark to the sections that are finished. Once all the lines are checked, it’s going to be time to edit. That will be a grand day, but for now, I’m still filling in the gaps.
If you are nearing the midpoint of your writing project, I’d give some of these techniques a try! They have saved me from abandoning a few projects and seen me through to the end.