The Horse Latitudes

I think the thing that impressed me most about Robert B. Parker was that he passed away at his desk, working on his next novel. The guy was a working writer right up until the moment he died. I like that. I respect that. And the pain of his passing is still fresh in my mind. It really is the end of an era.

As for me, I’ve GOT to get back to writing. It’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve written a lick on the novel. I’m going to try to pound out 2,000 words today and get past this frustrating eddy of 65,000 words. If that happens, I think I’ll be okay. I’m simply stuck in the middle. This happened on the last novel manuscript I completed, too. There just comes a point around 50,000- to 60,000 words in where you hit the horse latitudes: a period of distressing dead calm that hits mid-voyage.

The only thing I’ve ever found that works is to just get out the oars and paddle through it.

At some point that analogy will begin to make sense. I hope.

At this point, my 100,000-word goal for the first draft feels so far away. But in order to get closer — to get closure, t00 — is to work through it. Otherwise I can just ship oars and drift.

And that’s not something I’m comfortable doing.


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