Avoiding Conflict!


I’m at that point in the novel that people call the muddled middle. And it feels like everything’s moving in sloooowwww motion. Everything. I want to move on, but I keep finding reasons not to write. Last week I sat at my computer two entire days, avoiding writing. It was so ugly. Like a kid at the dinner table refusing to eat their broccoli. When that happens, the rule is – no messing around on the internet, no reading. Just put words on the page or sit there. Usually I get bored enough to write. But usually, it doesn’t take that long. Usually, I just sit down and write! Every novel really does have different problems. Sheesh!

And it isn’t because the novel’s awful. It just feels that way to me at the moment. It’s the process, not the actual writing. And it isn’t because I’m feeling muddled. I realized this morning that I know exactly where the novel has to go and I’m simply avoiding it. Thinking, well, I can add in this or that, which the character’s doing. Stalling.

And I laughed at myself when I realized that I was avoiding the major conflict in the book! It took me a while to realize why. I never really learned how to do conflict in real life and I normally bend over backwards to avoid the real thing. As an adult, I’m pretty much of a pacifist. It takes a lot for me to decide to rock the boat. And when I do, I revert to teenage screaming and yelling. Completely overblown and out of control.

I blame my mom for my early training in this technique. As a teenager, I used to yell and argue with her (or try to). I don’t know what was going on in her head, but she always just walked away. Leaving me yelling. It was absolutely infuriating. So that’s where I learned how to do conflict. I’m not sure I’ve progressed since.

So, now that I realized I’m avoiding throwing my character into this violent, bloody conflict, I guess it’s time to move on and just do it. I’m hoping this week will be a lot easier and I won’t be spending boring hours at the keyboard staring at the page and not allowing myself to ditz around on the internet. I’ve got so much to do that hopefully I’ll be able to get my words in and then move on to all the other stuff!

What are your thoughts?