Sunday, July 27, 2008

That Darn Middle!

So a little over two weeks ago I finished my second draft of the sequel to WINGS. I handed it off to my husband who is my fabulous first reader, and this was his conclusion; the beginning was good, the end was good, but the middle? Not quite so good. So now I've been working on the middle.

When I was doing Q&A a few weeks ago, someone asked me whether I thought the beginning or the end was the hardest to write. Well, I must not have been in a very "think outside of the box" mood that day because I simply outlined some of the hard things about writing both. But now that I think about it, my real answer to that question is neither. What is hardest for me to write is the middle.

If I were a literary superhero (with a fabulous costume of course!) my arch-nemesis would be the Dreaded Middle! (And would have a cape.)

Middles are hard for me. I have discovered that I have to write in a linear fashion--from the beginning to the end--otherwise I write all the funnest scenes and filling in all the blanks is boring and it shows. But often that means that I hurry through the middle too fast just to get to the end.

So my middles generally suck to first go-round.

But I'm working very hard! In fact, I am about halfway done with the middle and I think it's quite good. (Plus I've been reading it aloud to my husband as I go and he thinks it's much better too. Yay!)

So how about you? What is your literary arch-nemesis and how do you brutally beat it into submission?

Um . . . metaphorically speaking, of course. . . .*chirpchirp*

Ahem.

Ciao!

7 comments:

Weston Elliott said...

Ah, yes - my Dreaded Middle looks a lot like Snidely Whiplash! And he plagues me constantly. You are not alone! I say we form a lynch mob...

tomdg said...

For me it's beginnings. My beginning is definitely worse than even my middle. I like writing the end best (because it is the end :) but not just because of that). I'm still wondering if maybe I start in the wrong place ...

Pink Ink said...

I'd have to say, like you, the middle. Usually, I have a strong beginning or a strong end that propels me to start a story in the first place.

shariwrites said...

I love writing the end. I must also admit that there are those scenes in the middle (you know, the ones that really change something or propel the story, those moments when your characters truly experience something) that I LOVE to write. In fact, in the book I'm working on, I wrote some of those noteworthy scenes first and then went back and filled in. This wasn't even on purpose (I agree that filling in is sometimes very tedious). These scenes just came to me and I had to write them down before I forgot them. In some ways I think the beginning is the hardest. Setting everything up, developing character, making sure your world is real; it's sometimes difficult. And yet, the beginning really lets everything take flight. And where does all this lead??? I think the easy things to write are the scenes that flash in your head, the ones where you just know what to write. The rest is all hard.

Angie Frazier said...

I agree that middles are the toughest to write. I'm good at beginnings, and the rising action near the climax is always a blast to write. It's the middles that sag for me. Esp. on my current WIP.

Prince Balthazar said...

I'm stuck in the middle, too. I can go on for a long time without getting to the middle of a book. When that happens, I realize I really need to start moving the plot forward.

K. M. Walton said...

I too write from beginning to end but I think the hardest part of writing my second novel is by far, the pacing...making sure it keeps propelling the reader forward. Kids are SO easily distracted and I want them to not be able to put my books down, ever.