The other day, I reached the mid-point in the book I'm currently writing. It wasn't a planned middle. I didn't reach any arbitrary number on an outline or some magical word count. As I was writing the scene, I began to struggle and I realized it was because I'd reached the point where the story must take a turn. The scene needed to bring a few conclusions, but those answers needed to lead the main character to even bigger questions. The middle and I had finally met.
One of the aspects of novel writing that you cannot teach is how to have a handle on the pace of the story. It's one of those things that comes over time. When you've done it enough, you get the feel for telling a story of novel length. You know when you reach these moments and therefore can make sure each scene is achieving what it needs to. It took me a good two days to get it right, but I'm happy to say I've turned the corner.
Here's hoping the path ahead remains clear.