All good things must have a beginning, middle, and end.
For me, the beginning of a novel is always the easiest. I’m full of new ideas and scenes. I get to know my characters better as I write for them. I daydream for hours about my story, about potential scenes and dialogue, about what kinds of sandwiches my characters like and what their voices sound like.
Then, the blasted middle. At about 40,000 words, which is a little less than halfway through, I tend to stall. Most of my attempted novels never make it past this point. They remain lonely documents, gathering virtual dust in a hidden folder marked “drafts.”
But I know a novel is golden if I can power through, if I can add chapters I never thought I needed, and delete chapters I loved dearly, all for the sake of the plot, all so my characters can live on, can taste the light of literary day.
But when I stop and ask myself, when I really think about it…why? Why work so hard? Why endure the struggle, the strain of pouring all my brain juice into a few hundred pages? There are too many reasons why it’s worth it. But one of the greatest is that overwhelming, eye-watering, heart-racing moment. Typing out six simple letters, two simple words, one simple idea: THE END.