The Deep Breath Before the Plunge
The middle of your novel is arguably the most important. Sure, a sharp beginning and a high-impact ending really bring the project forward, but in the middle lies your symbolism, your climactic build-up, your character development–all of the things that make your novel resonate with your readers.
It’s difficult to keep the momentum going, especially in the drafting phase. My biggest fear as a writer is that my reader will be bored, close my book, and allow it to collect dust or donate to a second-hand store, unfinished.
How do you keep the reader interested?
Some writers swear by doing the unexpected: give a character a gun, have your character’s biggest fear come after them, create the storm of the century that threatens the goal and your characters’ survival. All of those things do work, in terms of what’s relevant to be your story.
But what do they all have in common?
Your characters. That’s the common denominator: all of those “unexpected” prompts deal with CHARACTERS.
When you worry that your story is starting to schlump, have something unexpected happen to your characters. It doesn’t resonate with the reader unless it’s personal to them, and when they form an attachment to your characters, anything that happens to them becomes personal for your audience.
In the past, I’ve posted about writing prompts, novel structure, and seeing your novel through to the end. Follow the links below for those resources, as well as a few others that can help you maintain your story’s momentum.
Stay writing, my friends.
From The Lady Nerds:
- The Story Bible: Needs, Wants, Must-Haves
- When a Picture is a Writing Prompt – Prompt 2
- Using Symbols in Your Novel
- Using Archetypes in Your Story
- A Libra’s Guide to Finishing Your Novel, Part One: Procrastination
- A Libra’s Guide to Finishing Your Novel, Part Two: Structure
- A Libra’s Guide to Finishing Your Novel, Part Three: The Follow-Through
- Mapping Your Novel with Scrivener & Scapple
- The Weather: It’s More Than Small Talk (feat. a writing playlist!)
- Writing Prompts: Character Perspective
- Psychology -> Creativity Boosters!
From Better Novel Project:
- Day-By-Day NaNoWriMo Outline
- What Every Writer Should Know About Their Novel’s Pre-Middle
- Why the Middle of Your Novel Needs 3 Dramatic Rescue Scenes
- How to Transition to Your Story’s Climax with a Gatekeeper
- The “Chekhov’s Gun” Guide to Foreshadowing
From She’s Novel: