There's a Light....

...and it's either the end of the tunnel or an oncoming train. Metaphorically speaking, that is. Literally, it's the finishing of my first novel. I'm not there yet, but I see it in my near future---like that proverbial light in the distance.

This week, I crossed the 20,000 word mark on my middle grade novel. The standard middle grade novel is between 25,000 and 40,000 words. ("Middle grade" means readers ages 8-12. Think Little House on the Prairie, Island of the Blue Dolphins, or the first couple of Harry Potter books.)

It's not just my word count that tells me I'm getting close to the end. It's my story, too. I'm down to the last 4 or 5 chapters.

And I'm stuck.

I see the light in the distance, but it's not getting any closer. I know where the story is going. I know what my characters are going to do. I know what they're going to feel. I just can't find the words to explain it all and bring it to life.

Talk about frustrating! It's like when you know the word you want, but it stays just out of reach, dancing on the edge of your consciousness, teasing you with its thumb on its nose. Now imagine five thousand words doing that exact same thing. Welcome to my world.

My characters aren't much help either. I can see them, standing in my peripheral vision, wiggling their fingers with their thumbs in their ears, sticking out their tongues at me. I try chasing them, but they're always a step or ten ahead of me.

For the moment, I'm pretending to ignore them and devoting my creative energies to other projects, like my quilting. I'm hoping the diversions will "unblock" my writing. In the meantime, I'm keeping an eye on that light to make sure it doesn't go away.