I've talked a lot in the past about the murky middle of a novel. It's where you've managed to get the essentials of the story down by introducing the fictional novel world to the reader, one with an array of characters, insights and a sense (albeit full of questions) of where the story is going - AKA Act 1.
Act 3, is the final segment of the story when I have a reasonably good idea of how it all will end, but I can change my mind at a moment's notice.
The one sandwiched in the middle, is Act 2, which I refer to as the murky middle.
It gets even murkier when you're like me and you don't plot your story. Nor, do I know what my character are going to do next. Right now, I also have a whole load of things planted in the script that may or may not have an influence on the outcome. And yes, I know, people like the wonderful Jeffrey Deaver know the whole story before they even write a single word. But alas, the process is different for everyone.
Despite hating the murky middle, because it is at times, DIRECTIONLESS, and I have to write and rewrite myself out of many a cul-de-sac, I secretly like that some weird and often wacky surprises happen in these troubled murky waters, even if like this morning, I have conversations like this with my partner.
ME: 'I have a word count of 1,500 words to do today.'
HIM: 'That's good.'
ME: 'No, it isn't.'
HIM: 'Why not?
ME: 'Because I've no idea what I'm going to write.'
HIM: 'Don't worry about that, you've been there before.'
ME: 'That doesn't help. What if I can't think of anything?'
HIM: 'You will.'
ME: 'That doesn't help either.'
Thankfully I squeezed the 1,500 words out....so I guess he was right, but there's still tomorrow!