I wanna be sedated
I suppose I should have said chapters, not scenes (but, of course, “chapters” would not suit the rhythm of the Ramones). I think the actual scene count is more like 30, and a soft 30 at that – inevitably I will find gaps that need to be bridged, pushing that number higher – but I think 24 is a fairly safe estimate for number of chapters remaining. I have currently written 22, and my word count is just shy of 50,00, so by both of those measures I am pretty much exactly halfway through (re)writing this novel.
Not bad, I suppose, considering I didn’t really seem to hit my stride and start working in earnest until April.
I suppose I should also count myself lucky that I have reached 50% of the book before hitting the “mushy middle” wherein I realize that I have a not insignificant gap between where my narrative is and the point at which my next string of events starts happening. I am debating whether I ought to tighten up the time by literally moving the events that have already happened forward a month or continuing to pluck the various storylines one by one and hope that one (or more) of them shakes down a couple events that are of narrative importance to happen to my characters in the next month of their lives.
From a word-count perspective the mushy middle also amounts to a small section of the whole…the point in my original draft from which I don’t expect much to change events-wise in this re-write to the end is 61,848 words. Even allowing that I will cut a third of them (leaving roughly 40,000 to be grafted to my current 50,000), with a projected total of no more than 100,000, this little gap in my outline can comprise no more than 5000 words, since I assume I will need to add in at least that many across the 40K to make everything flow smoothly. So as far as mushy middles go, this one is the shortest, quickest, and easiest to solve yet.
Unless, of course, the point from which nothing much changes is a mirage.
Unfortunately I feel like I need to parse out which direction I’m taking (shift the calendar or add events) before I move any further. The hero and heroine have established a good momentum. I don’t want to crash that by giving them nothing to do for a month except more of the same. I want the snowball to keep rolling down the hill and getting bigger and bigger – but I also want it to have enough rolling time that the point of no return is also believable (since one of my biggest complaints about 80% of current romance novels is the short time frame in which they take place).
At least the writing is still coming easy. At least there’s that.