An author’s low spot between books
October 28, 2013
People who don’t write books are probably unaware of the rhythm of the book process.
It is rhythm all its own.
When an author begins a project, she is filled with anticipation and energy. She has the concept for the book in mind and gets to write those first words, the ones that set the tone for what is to come. She plows her way through Part One, trudging through scenes that introduce her characters.
Then she hits hits Part Two, the middle section of the book where the story will slow down if she isn’t careful to infuse it with a strong dose of suspense and excitement. This section is often referred to as “the sagging middle.” Keeping it from sagging is the author’s focus.
Finally comes Part Three, the fun part where all the loose ends are tied up, and every one receives his comeuppance. For me, Part Three is always the easiest and quickest section of the book to write because the jigsaw puzzle pieces are all before me, and all I have to do is assemble them.
So the author types the end, works her way through re-writes and edits, obtains cover art and kicks his promotional efforts into high gear.
But what about that next project?
The next project, even if the writer already knows what it is, looms like Mt. Everest in front of the author. It’s like he made it home after months on the road only to realize that he must leave the next day on another long trip.
For many writers the prospect of starting again from scratch is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It is a task so formidable that they decide to give up before they take the first step on the journey.
As we have often observed on the pages of Caleb and Linda Pirtle, the real problem, or opportunity, for writers today is the need for a never-ending stream of new content.
This need doesn’t present a problem for a writer who has always dreamed of only one thing, i.e., writing a book. If that is his dream, he can mark it “completed” on his bucket list and move on to taking scuba lessons.
Professional writers, however, don’t have that luxury. When they finish one book, they begin the next.
Even if they don’t feel like it, or don’t know if they possess the wherewithal to crest the summit of Everest.
They strap their backpacks on their shoulders and put one foot in front of another.
It’s a glamorous life, isn’t it?