So here I am, standing at the mouth of the endless tunnel that is:
THE DREADED MIDDLE...MIDDLE...MIDDLE...
I know that it does end, of course, and when it does I should have smoother sailing to the finish line. But it's getting through the tunnel, blindly groping about in the dark for direction, that has me hyperventilating.
Middles are the hardest for me to write. Beginnings are a piece of cake, and I usually have a vague idea of what the ending will be at the start. But when it comes to the middle, I find myself lacking. This is where the story's plot must unfold and expand, the antagonist must wreck his well-planned (on my part) havoc, and the MC must struggle through his journey to reach the inevitable end where he will change and grow.
Plot. Villain. Hero's Journey. i.e. Not my best subjects.
The middle is where I find being a Discovery Writer snags the fabric. I begin a story with only a few general story points, so when I reach the middle and find myself forced to expand the lacking plot, my discovering ways come up short. Suddenly I have to have a battle plan. I'm horrible at battle plans! What stupid General put stupid me in charge of mapping out a stupid battle plan?!?
For Nanowrimo, I simply charged ahead without a plan. But while I did finish all five times, I am left with five horrific first drafts that I refuse to touch with a ten-foot red pencil. They would need complete re-writes, and they just aren't worth the effort.
So what to do? Hold a major brainstorm session - to figure out a few more story points at the very least. Right now I'm just taking it one scene at a time, but I really need to sit down and think this through. I refuse to let Project V become another dead-end manuscript.
Concerning a villain deficiency, I must admit that Project V's villain is more well-formed than most I have tried (and failed) to create over the years. I know that all I need is a good sit-down session to flesh him - and his dastardly plans - out, and then I shouldn't have too many problems after that. (But we'll see.)
As for the Hero's Journey angle, this usually just unfolds on its own (bless it!). If I were to try and plan it out myself? Death to Project V.
So the [temporary] solution to my problems: scheduling a few brainstorming sessions. Unfortunately, trying to get an appointment with the villain is going to prove difficult - he is currently up to no good and quite busy doing so, thank you very much. And as for the plot, I believe it is currently training somewhere in the middle of the desert...