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Second quarter blues

Not all parts of a book a created equal. Some fly off the fingers, other bits have to be dragged out or coaxed with chocolate and bribes.

And not all tricky bits are the same for all people.

First page fear (or the horror of the blank document) doesn’t bother me as I plot and I know the start. I know the turning points. That pivotal bit in the middle is no drama, the black moment holds no terrors and I love the rush to the end.

I get stuck in the second quarter. That bit that happens sometime after the story has started and the characters have met and the stage has been set and before the big thing in the middle.

Something has to happen for 20,000 words in there….

This is the bit of the story where I also get the wobbles (my characters suck, this story is awful. What was I thinking there’s not enough to make a novel!).

I get the second quarter blues on every story regardless of length. You’d think in a 30,000 word novella it wouldn’t be a drama, but it is.

I have however discovered one way to keep me focused (and surprisingly there is no chocolate involved). That second quarter is where the character get to know each other. It’s the romance building bit of the book so that when that big thing in the middle happens they can get through it.

Yeah, that might be obvious to some people but it’s taken me a few books and revisions to learn that. 

So now as I’m writing that second quarter, while I still wonder what am I doing and how this will ever work, I’m thinking about how the characters are getting closer and why they are falling in love.


  1. Part of why this is a tough part of the book is because we're required to torture our characters at this point. We CAN'T let them succeed or the story is over. Keep fighting the good fight, my friend!

  2. What Mia's not easy to torture our characters when we know them so well, but alas, if they are to have that HEA, then it's necessary. I'm entering second quarter on the WIP and I hear you loud and clear.

  3. I'm exactly the same. I do great until like chapter 8 or 9. Then I struggle. Push through is my advice.

  4. YES. This! I hate this part of the book and it's always the one that goes through the most revisions. :) Hang in there!

  5. I don't know, I think chocolate should ALWAYS be involved, lol. Interesting glimpse of the creative process, thanks for sharing.


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