If you’ve ever wondered how to write the middle of your novel, read this post. We look at what the middle is and give you tips to get through it.
Before I discuss the middle of your novel, let me summarise beginnings, middles, and endings.
Beginnings, Middles, Endings
- The beginning of your novel introduces your four main characters, establishes the setting, and reveals the protagonist’s story goal. The beginning asks a question. It should include an inciting moment. This is usually the first quarter of your book.
- The middle of your novel is a series of escalating actions arising from the inciting moment. The protagonist tries to reach their story goal. This is where the reversal of desires and ambitions causes conflicts between the protagonist and the other characters, especially the antagonist. The middle is where you explore sub-plots and develop relationships with your confidant and love interest. The middle is usually the second and third quarters of your book.
- The ending reveals whether or not the protagonist achieves their story goal. The ending answers the question asked at the beginning. It is the logical resolution of the conflict caused by pursuing the goal. Don’t tack on a surprise ending or plot twist unless it’s brilliant. The ending is usually the final quarter of your book.
In the middle, the reader wants to to be immersed in the the story. They want to enjoy the vicarious pleasure of it all. This is the longest and most difficult part.
The middle is a never-ending plotting exercise.
Cover The Basics
Ask yourself: Are you sticking to the primary motivation of the novel?
- If it’s meant to amuse, does it?
- If it’s meant to thrill or chill, does it?
- If it’s meant to romance, does it?
How To Write The Middle Of Your Novel
- Write a chronological sequence of events – a timeline.
- Look at your sub-plots.
- Complete character questionnaires for your confidant and love interest. You may need to use their backstory in a scene.
- Make a list of your 60-80 scenes and sequels. Half of these belong in the middle of the book.
- Write the scenes.
Tips To Get You Through
- Increase internal conflicts and external conflicts.
- Include enough dialogue.
- Raise the stakes.
- Put forces into place for the finale.
- Always move the story forward.
© Amanda Patterson
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