I was recently asked whether it’s more difficult to write the beginning or the ending of a novel. My answer? Neither. The most difficult part of a novel to write is the middle—popularly known as the “muddy middle,” or just the “muddle.” When you’re writing the beginning of your novel, your words tend to flow to the glowing enchantment of your novel idea—a momentum sparked by the excitement of pursuing a shiny new idea and exploring new worlds. Then, one day, you’re likely to hit a slow patch, and then another slow patch, and then … you might find yourself stuck—and perhaps even sinking.