Monday, June 30, 2008



Okay, I've been avoiding the subject of middles, mostly because they are harder for me to write than beginnings and endings. This, I am sure, isn't as tough for other writers, but it is definitely my personal challenge.

I start off a project full of moxy, excitement and enthusiasm. I'm in love with my characters and I know exactly how I'm going to torture them and finally reward them at the end. Then I get to page 150 or so and stare at the blinking icon on the too white screen of the computer and wonder what the heck I'm gonna do now.

I've often gotten the stakes so high that I'm not even sure myself how the heck I'm gonna get my people out of the mess they're in. It's like a raging storm that won't let me see beyond that spot into the resolution.

Worse, there are times when I just run out of steam and loose the energy of the story. My muse runs off to a dark corner and simply will not come out. Times like these I have to start a new project for a while until I get my momenum back. Yep. It's just hell sometimes.

I once thought a crit partner or group would help in the sagging middles but, for me, it just ain't so. They get me off track and send my thoughts out in too many different directions. I do better with crit groups when the work is finished--not in progress.

Right now I have two WIPs, Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride (a time travel western) and The Light of Valmora (a dark fantasy). It suites me to have a wide gulf between the two concepts of my WIPs because--well, I'm not sure why except that the extreme differences in the subject matter helps rejuvenate my mopping muse.

Am I the only one who has this problem? Are there other authors out there who cringe at the thought of getting through the middle? Or do most of you sail through the middle dulldroms of your unchartered novels maintaining your quest for the fire of your story unphased by the middle ground?
Sarah McNeal

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