So we’re about halfway through this ridiculously hot summer and I find it appropriate that our summer slump brings to mind another kind of slump for writers.
I’m working on a new book and am closing in on the end of the 1st Act (1/4 way through) and I like where it’s going…but once I’m through these beginning pages, I head into the dreaded ‘middle’ of the book. For many writers, the middle is the hardest part. Think about it – the beginning is the fun world building part and the end is the cool climax, but the middle???
There’s nothing worse than reading a book that sucks you into the world only to reach the middle and think…huh? Or worse yet, find yourself flipping to the end of the book because the story slumps, slumps, slumps and you want to get to the ‘good part’.
In reality, the middle pages are just as important. It builds the relationship if it’s a romance, or the suspense if it’s a thriller. It brings the characters to life and makes them believable. The reader wants to know what makes these people tick. Why do they start off the way they do and then learn and change to become (hopefully) better people.
The middle also has its own type of climax. The rules may change along the way forcing the characters into another direction. I just have to remind myself of this as I type away and wish I was at the end of my story. Without the middle, the ending is flat and unsubstantiated since as readers we need to fall in love with the hero and heroine whose lives or love hangs in the balance.