What else could possibly go wrong?

I know, I know. It's the question we're never supposed to ask. Just whispering the words is the equivalent of asking the universe to smite us please, and vigorously.


I'm not, mind you, asking the question on my behalf. 


Those of you who have spent any time reading the entries on my writing process at all know that I write by my headlights. I don't outline, and for goodness' sake, I even have a "plot is something that happens to other people" label for the entries here. This is not an announcement that anything in my writing process has changed.


But when I feel like I'm starting to run up against the leading edge of those headlights and the only thing stretching out before me is outer darkness and blank pages, I've been looking at what's happened in the draft so far, and then wondering: what else could possibly go wrong? Answering that question usually gets me through the next few scenes, so long as I remember not to look down. So long as I don't let myself worry about how I'm going to tie this all up at the end. (It's only a draft. It's only a draft. It's only a draft.)


It is sort of terrifying to write like this, with things getting worse and worse and worse, but it's also sort of exhilarating. Things are happening! I am learning things about my characters! And things are moving. Which is good, because I am stumbling towards the Dreaded Middle, and I am really hoping the momentum I have here will pull (or push or drag) me far enough through that section that I'll be able to feel my way towards an ending.


Apparently what you do when you can no longer see your headlights, is you blow up the road in front of you, and write by the light of the explosions.


That's fine: fire pretty.