Crazy things start to happen when I get into the middle of a book. I'll try to skip it and get to the end, or I'll get caught up in all the flaws of the previous material that I halt all progress, or I'll get mired in it.
For Human Dignity, I skipped the middle sections by, in essence, writing the beginnings and ends of three books--conveniently called "parts" in the novel. That is, I introduced the situation and characters and conflict, then I went right to climactic action and resolved it, with some dangly bits. End of Part One. Part Two began fifteen years later, so I had to re-introduce the situation and characters and conflict, then I went right to the climactic action and resolved it, with some dangly bits. End of Part Two. And so on. My most common critique of HD remarked on this feature, which was just my way of avoiding writing the middle of a book.
With The Masque, I had so totally re-envisioned the beginning of the book after I had written it that I didn't know how to keep writing without revising everything I had written, which I was going to do except I got pregnant. But I was stuck at the end of the beginning of the book for months, unable to really move forward because of all the flaws and my unimplemented ideas for fixing them. This was especially frustrating because I was unemployed for many of those months and had hoped to use that time to finish the draft or at least get damn near to finishing it.
Now, here I am in the middle of Shadow of Zehth, and I'm not skipping it or stuck, but I am mired in it. Every scene seems to stretch on longer than it should. Could be that's how my previous tendency to skip the middle is exerting itself this time. I don't know. The only thing I know is it's really making the middle seem even longer to get through. But I'm going to keep at it and see what things look like once I write my way through to the end. Maybe these scenes won't be overly long and drawn out, maybe they'll be the perfect pace and length once I can see the whole of the book, or even just the whole of the middle.
I wish I knew why middles gave me so much trouble. One of these days I'll put my mind to the dilemma and see what I can learn from it to grow as a writer and improve my process, but for right now, I'm stumped.