I think all novelists know what I mean. You’ve written the first 20-30k words, all the exciting set-up is done. You’re into the middle of the book, where you need to develop your plot lines and build up to the climaxes you have in mind for around the 60k mark. You can’t wait till you are writing that last third of the book. But first you have to write the middle third.
Any tips for getting through this, other than teeth-gritting and application of bum to writing seat?
David Kendrick said:
I always think of the next big scene when I am stuck in the middle of the novel. The next big scene is a small island. I then bridge to each big scene to achieve that. Instead of it being a large middle bit it is just a series of small islands that need joining up. Nothing is a big task if you break it down into smaller manageable tasks. Sometimes if a character just isn’t happening or I haven’t got their voice then I continue with one that has until the other one starts to form in my head. If you keep moving forwards in however small steps then you get through the middle section.
Sue Johnson said:
Don’t worry about getting it right – just follow the flow of the storyline. Try the ‘writing down the page’ technique in ‘The Weekend Novelist’ by Brett Norris and Robert Ray. It doesn’t matter if it looks more like a string vest than a novel at this stage. You can go back later and fill in the gaps. Keep going! Reward yourself for every 5000 words you write – or less if it helps you get them written.
Keith Havers said:
Why does the middle bit have to be written first? Why not just write the last third and then join up the two sections? By the time you get to write the middle part it may have become clearer in your head how to do it.