A Writer’s Midpoint Crisis in Mid-Life

crisis ahead

Aren’t you the Main Character in your life’s story?

In fiction, the Midpoint Crisis is when the Main Character has a confrontation which leads them to realize their Main Flaw and makes them stop working from a false Moral Premise and start using their true Moral Premise to guide them. The Main Character decides to stop running from their problems and to start resolving them instead.

I think that also sums up a non-fiction Mid-Life Crisis as well.

When I turned 45 last year… I didn’t go out and buy a fancy sports car (I don’t drive), I didn’t quit my job and go on a sabbatical (I’m happy to have a job), I didn’t dump my partner for a younger/newer model (I’m single), I didn’t dye my hair to hide the gray (I got lots of gray now), or do any of those mid-life crisis things you hear about guys doing… I decided I was going to write a novel.

Am I a ‘Pantser’? I tried writing my novel ‘from the seat of my pants’ with no outline or pre-writing… and made a terrible mess of a story with plot holes and inconsistencies.

Am I a ‘Plotter’? I tried creating a thorough outline broken down into chapters and scenes… and got lost in trying to perfect a story that seemed to change the more I tried to shape it.

Now I’m 46 and deep into my own personal Mid-Life Crisis and realizing that I have a half-finished story stuck in the depths of its Midpoint Crisis and neither system ‘pantser versus plotter’ is working for me.

So I’ve decided that I’m a ‘Plotypants’ (I think I’m creating a new word here folks!)… I create an outline with all the major Plot Points of the story, then I let the story flow and change as I write it, then I go back and change the outline to match the way the story is currently developing. So instead of having multiple ‘drafts of a story’, I instead have one developing story with multiple ‘drafts of an outline’. I get the best of both worlds… I don’t get locked into an outline which limits my creativity, nor do I limit my organizational needs leaving behind plot holes and inconsistencies.

So in reality, I (the Main Character) am confronting my lack of finishing my novel by realizing my Main Flaw (am I a Pantser or a Plotter) by stopping from thinking that I have to be one or the other (false Moral Premise) and accepting that I can be both at the same time (true Moral Premise). I’m going to stop running from the choice of being one or the other and revel in the fact that I’m at my best as a writer by being both simultaneously.

Let’s see if I can finish my novel, and end my Midpoint Crisis & Mid-Life Crisis, before I turn 47 by being a #plotypants now.

Care to follow my Writer’s Journey?

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