So I discovered that my own personal hell has a first name, it's Revision. You thought I was complaining and struggling when I was just finishing the first draft but there was a special ring of Dante's hell waiting. It is the ring of revisions that will not come. Seriously, things were going pretty smoothly, too smoothly, until I got to chapter 30. Things came to a grinding halt as I realized the chapter was merely filler. So, merrily, I gave it the ax and moved on to chapter 31. A sinking feeling hit me when I came to the same conclusion about 31. Scarcely daring to look ahead, I glanced at 32 and discovered there were several small things that had to happen to get us from 29 to 32. And that is where I've been sitting for a couple weeks now. A few paltry things to get us from point A to point B, and yet, they won't come.
As my entire family napped this afternoon, I decided I was going to push through and get through this so I could finish up the revisions and move on with my life. No more procrastinating, I was determined to figure it out. So you know what I did? I wrote. What was the result? More filler. Nothing more than trite filler to slowly move along to the next exciting bit. This will not do. I have been thinking about this, agonizing over this dilemma for the last couple weeks and this is what I discovered. To get from chapter 29 to 32, I need 2 weeks of largely uneventful time to pass and the protagonist needs to get an invitation to a party. Put that way, it seems laughable that I'm struggling with this so much. "Seriously?" you're thinking. "You're that hung up about a party invitation?" Unfortunately, my answer is 'yes'. (unless I cut the party as well...hmmm...arrgghhh! Now you have a tiny clue of the nightmare in my brain.) My beautiful story has fallen apart roughly 3/4 of the way through. How sad is that? Sadder still, is the fact that I have to fix it. It's all up to me.
Sure, Jay Asher and Paula Morrow think I have a very marketable story here. They're right. But you can't market something that isn't finished. I can't wow my dream agent if I'm not impressed myself. Believe you me, I have a severe case of not impressed.
I know what I need to do. I need to tap into the voice of my characters and let them tell me what they need to do next. Unfortunately, it seems they're taking a vacation together and they haven't left a forwarding address.