I'm about half way (give or take) in the new story. I think most authors would agree that this is usually the point where we reach full panic. The story sucks. Or you don't know where to go from here. For me, I'm still fully engaged in the story, and I have a direction to move, but I'm worried about how to get to the end from where I'm at - pacing (am I giving away too much too soon?). Second guessing myself, and as one of the ladies at the writers conference said to me, maybe it's just that "woman" part of us. Men don't question themselves the way we do? Do they??? I'm inclined to believe they do, especially as far as the writing is concerned, although I don't know that I've had the same conversations with men who are authors. The RWA conferences I go to are primarily women (although not exclusively). I've been to conferences with J.A. Konrath, and something tells me he NEVER second guesses himself (although I could be wrong about that).
At any rate, I've reached a point in the story where I can't quit. It's the "point of no return." There are some stories that I've started where you realize early on they are so much drivel. Some of them I've pushed ahead with anyway, just as writing exercise, if for no other reason, but this one I believe in. I'm too deep in to quit, I'm too invested in my characters and their outcomes to leave them hanging. And I'm just plain having fun.
One of the fun parts is research. Yes, it can be tedious, especially when answers are NOT forthcoming, but it can also be fun. I enjoy learning things I didn't know before, or uncovering new ideas. Have I mentioned this story takes place around Christmas? (maybe a million times?) So I was looking up ethnic recipes (my characters have strong German roots) and found one that I definitely want to try. I've shared it with one of my writing buddies, who does recipes on her blog from time to time, but it is still untested (a reason to try it!). It will likely show up on her blog in time (and maybe mine beforehand), but considering we are in the summer months, this recipe is more suited to colder weather - comfort food, even. But I promise to share.
Back to my topic . . . there are times when I sit at my computer and want to pour everything out of my head, and I can sit for hours at a time, days in a row (when given the opportunity), but you always hit a stopping point. I hit one. That's not always a bad thing, stopping points give me the opportunity to go back and clean up the mess I made spewing words out. The thing about the point of no return is knowing that even though I've hit a stopping point, I will forge ahead. And actually I have, if at a much slower pace.
Hah. I just remembered the title of this blog is Ramblings of an Author in Progress. Yes, folks, I'm rambling. This is the process. And now I have to get back to it!