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The Dreaded 'Middle'
Alexandra Hartley
Posted: Thursday, May 2, 2013 11:27 AM
Joined: 4/30/2013
Posts: 12

A part of me is always afraid of writing further than eleven chapters for fear of approaching the middle section of my book. I would love some advice from professional authors. How do you cope with approaching the middle, and what are some techniques you employ to make the writing substantial?

Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013 12:33 PM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 427

Bumping this up so other members can see! 

This is a great article on sagging middles by author Alicia Rasley:

Hope this helps!

Nevena from BC
LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Saturday, May 4, 2013 12:48 AM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662

I'm guessing that by professional writers, you must mean published writers, but I'm still going to answer.

My response is thus, don't worry about it right now. Until you have the entire novel written, don't fret. Just get it done. I'm serious. Thinking about it too much at this stage is why very few people actually finish writing a novel. You just need to vomit words right now. The problem my fix itself and your real issue may be the beginning, like me.

That said, once you finish the novel, it's editing time. That is where you will see the big nasty holes, the decay, the meanderings. That is where you will see what needs fixed. I'll be honest, I preplan, but sometimes you diverge from that plan way more than you intended. While it does keep me on track with basic plot points, it does not necessarily cover the small stuff, like dialogue.

Just write. Finish it. Stop worrying. Yes, writers have a tendency to be neurotic, but just start punching those keys. You can tighten up the sag later so you can squeeze your book into its summer bikini. For you, it's Christmas. Indulge.
Atthys Gage
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 1:53 PM
Joined: 6/7/2011
Posts: 467

Timely advice for me.  I'm lost in the doldrums of a novel right now, and would rather work on pretty much anything.  Hell, I'd even rather go to the gym.   No matter how many times I tell myself 'just write' I keep on losing my way.  Of course, I'm a sluggard by nature, and I resent profoundly all of you who can lose yourselves in the process of writing.  
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 1:57 PM
Atthys, I've heard this called The Wall. It's normal.

Atthys Gage
Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 11:39 PM
Joined: 6/7/2011
Posts: 467

Mari.  I know, of course, that eventually I will work my way out of it.  Diligence, patience, perseverance.  There isn't much these things can't handle.  

But I am also quite certain that what talent I had is now gone for good, and I will never write a worthwhile word or know any peace of mind again, and will end my days lying in a gutter somewhere, face down.  

Somehow, both of these fates call for a drink.  

Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013 12:14 AM
that feeling is also normal!

Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 1:31 PM
Joined: 8/3/2016
Posts: 1

Cool book!

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