Ironically, after complaining a little about having to read Stephen King's On Writing for my writing class, King's words inspired me to get control over the middle section of my novel - the part I've been struggling to finish.
King says that when you are writing the first draft, you should do it for you - and only edit when you are editing, not while you're working on the first draft. This is usually what I do when I write and edit. However, I have been emersed in editing mode for several months. The middle section needs several new chapters, but, because I had my editing hat on, I was fighting myself to get the words down on paper.
On Tuesday morning, I ripped apart my novel and pulled out the middle section. Literally, I separated the sections into different binders and copied the existing middle chapters to make a separate Word document. I decided to allow myself to edit only the beginning and the end sections - I do have a compulsive need to polish it up lately but feel OK about doing it in sections.
For the middle part, the one that's needs new chapters, I'm treating it like a first draft. I outlined what the chapters need to be with bullet points and inserted each outline page where the chapter will be. Now I feel free to write one chapter at a time without worrying about editing the rest. I finally feel like I have control over it. I wish I had done this in June.
I have four new chapters to write - and four days this weekend to write a chapter a day. It's exciting!!!
Once the first draft of the missing four chapters are completed, I can go back into editing mode and finish it. Maybe I will be done by Halloween. That would be amazing!