His problem was that he'd written the first part, three chapters, and knew how it was going to end, but was stuck in the middle, staring a those proverbial blank pages. He wanted to know what to do.
My advice was to go ahead and write the final chapter(s), then go backward and fill in the missing parts that lead to the ending.
I thought the most important thing for him to do was to write, not to get hung up on the overall story. I know quite a few authors who knocked out about 50 pages, then hit the wall and gave up. It happened to me a couple times before I finally worked through it with my first novel, The Touch, in 1998.
It's also important for the writer to understand that the words their putting down is simply the first draft. They'll be amazed how the novel grows and develops over subsequent rewrites and revisions before they reach "The End."
Above all, I believe the key to success is to write every day, be it 15 minutes or 15 hours. For me, I write through the difficult days, often discovering later that those passages gave me deeper insights into my story.
How would you tackle my friend's dilemma?
If you have any questions about writing that you'd like me to address, leave it in the "comment" box below or send it privately to my email (I won't disclose your name).
Until the next time . . .