Posts Tagged ‘middles’

Stupid Middles

Well, squiders, if you’d asked me yesterday, I would have said my changeling story was going great! I figured out a potential title, writing was going good, I’d gotten my main characters into the same place. Things were lovely.

Today everything is awful.

It’s like when I was working on World’s Edge for Nano, actually. Now that I think about it, I had issues in the exact same spot then. The beginning is fine–there are things that need to happen to get the plot rolling, and then there are other things. And there are things that need to happen in the middle, and then things that need to happen at the end.

But that section between the beginning events and the midpoint is a sink hole.

In structural terms, I’ve heard this section of Act II referred to as the “reaction” phase. (Act II is often broken into two halves, one before the midpoint and one after.) Basically, the idea is that the main character is reacting to whatever the turning point between Acts I and II, and that goes on to the midpoint, when things pivot in some manner, and then in the second half the character makes a decision and starts to act on it.

It’s an easy place to get lost, unfortunately.

I don’t necessarily remember having middle issues in general, but it’s been a while since I’ve written a full novel draft from scratch and maybe I always have. Or maybe, because my pacing and structure used to have issues, I had different issues. Who knows? Besides, each book is different, and there are different problems each time.

But, anyway, my Act II Part 1 section has 20,000 words assigned to it, and I’m 10K in, and I’m a little lost. Each scene needs to progress the plot and the character arcs, so I can’t throw in a lot of random stuff, but I’m not quite sure what to do instead.

The good news is that, hooray, revision is a thing. And I know from experience that it is easier to tweak arcs and make sure theme and tone are consistent if the story is already written and you generally know where you’re going.

So I just need to get through this, and it can all be fixed later.

So that’s where I am. Aside from today being like pulling teeth, I’m on track and making fairly good progress, and I should be done with the draft by the end of July.

How are your projects going?