Middle of the novel blues

I am not quite halfway through the final read-through of Princess of Shadows. I have managed to cut only about 4000 words at this point, but at least that’s in the right direction. This line-by-line is going very slowly– 40 to 60 pages a day seems to be my limit before my butt starts to hurt and I nod off over my keyboard. A good pace, you say? Not when the novel is 450 pages long and life (which is a demanding mutha) keeps dragging me away. I have now had to officially designate the version I am working on as the fifth draft. Woof.

My real problem at the moment, though, is that, as I plod through this novel yet again, this middle section seems so very, very mundane. Nothing terribly wrong, just nothing terribly exciting, and I am wondering if that’s not a warning sign that this part is somehow extraneous. If I’m bogging down, what’s the reader going to do? But when I try to look at it I can’t really see what is excess.

I may need to talk to my beta reader again and compare notes. Meanwhile, I think my best policy is to complete the line edit, get that out of the way, and then possibly sit back and contemplate the story as a whole. I have pretty good idea what I am trying to do with it, but as the last 17 months prove, I have struggled with this novel as I have never struggled with a story before.

But I do have one piece of external validation in this endless desert– my daughter says she likes it. That might be enough by itself to get me to the next water-hole.



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