Archive for February 8th, 2007

Oh how I hate a middle!

I sent another publisher submission off today. My fingers are crossed as usual.

While thinking about the structure of a re-draft (and the next novel), I was struck with a simple revelation.

Writer’s tend to find a particular difficulty in finding one or more of the following: a good beginning, middle, or an ending. Beginnings and endings are relatively easy for me to develop. It’s the damned middle that I have problems with. It is a particularly acute problem in a novel, because there is just so much of the thing. Middles can plod, drag and be generally uninspiring if not designed appropriately. The worst kind of middle (and I’ve read a few of these) is the one which you know is simply padding the length of the book, one that is only about connecting the two ends of the book with the mandatory number of words. Any reader would be suspicious of that.

So I was struck with an interesting concept for the middle: pull the ending forward. Take the ending that you think is the ending of the novel and move it so that it happens in the very middle or towards the end of the middle. Bam!- instant pace and volume added to the story without sacrificing tension building in the middle. Convert the ending into a turning point at the middle, and then all you have to do is extend and think up a completely new ending, and get to it.


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