A funny thing happened when I got about three-quarters of the way through this first draft of my "project." I had to (sort of) map out where I was going near the end so that I know the critical scenes and could time things, but now that I know more or less what's going to happen, my interest is beginning to wane. I'm not sure if it was simply that I knew what was coming, thus killing my own curiosity, or if it maybe was a fear of hitting that end. Fear of finishing a draft, which is a strange sense of loss or maybe fear of having to get it all right. I think it was the latter.
I know my basic goals for the project, I know what I want to happen for specific characters, and I know the culminating events, but the pressure to get it all right as I come speeding to the end is a bit much. The speed is part of it as well. I've begun to see the destination, and instead of enjoying the journey, I'm hauling ass to get there. And I worry about spoiling the sense of things.
I've seen a lot of good novels go bad at this point (Jennifer Egan's "Look At Me" comes to mind), so I'm especially conscious of what's happening. I believe in the inevitability of what happens in fiction. Even what's shocking should feel in some way as if was inevitable. The important thing is to stay true to the story told so far, and to the characters within.
With all of this in mind, I really fell like the pressure's on (I'm also coming up on one year since I began this draft, which was my de facto deadline). I think I have the ways to see myself through. I have many things yet to discover, I believe I can avoid the deus ex machina, and I know to watch my pace. Maybe, though, there's someone out there with a little more experience what might want to share their battle stories, and let us all learn from your experience. Any Walter Moselys want to weigh in?