Friday again. This week has gone by with the speed of lightning. I’m waiting for my students to arrive, so I thought I’d better turn my attention to Folk Friday.
I’m smack dab in the middle of Shattered right now. Had a good writing evening last night, got the first scene transition in Chapter 10 worked out. Not a huge number of words, but a roadblock out of the way. I think the next couple of chapters will go quickly.
So far, the middle of a book has been the most difficult part for me. I start quickly, full of the momentum of my new characters, and with an idea of the ending clear in my mind. Then I hit chapter eight or nine and the flow of words slows to a trickle. I know where I’m going, but which of the countless possible routes will I take? Do I need to go back and add plot threads to keep the middle from sagging? Do I need to throw in a twist that will take my characters in a completely different direction?
I know this is a common problem, especially with writers who are pantsers like me. With McShannon’s Chance, I solved it by writing the end and working backwards. Eventually the two halves met in the middle. Once I allowed myself to stop trying to write linearly, ideas started popping into my mind to fill the void.
Authors who can plan their plot in detail – and then follow it! – amaze me. So do authors who write scenes in no particular order. There are as many ways to deal with a book’s sagging middle as there are authors. Some use a collage or storyboard. I’ve tried collaging and enjoyed it, but didn’t find it particularly helpful as a writing tool as I have a strong visual image of my characters and setting from the beginning, and end up simply looking for pictures to fit that image. Perhaps I’ll experiment with a storyboard. Writers of blogland, how do you deal with the middle of a story? Anyone have any innovative ideas to share?
Oh, yes, folk Friday! Last week, an RWAC chapter mate of mine, Carolyn Laurie, posted a wonderful video on Facebook of Raylene Rankin, Cindy Church and Susan Crowe performing together in Alberta. It’s been a while since I heard three such wonderful voices that blend together so well. Enjoy!