I’ve had more than one person tell me they’ve started a story, but then they’re so eager to rush to the end they wind up floundering in the middle and quitting.
They don’t get stuck because the middle is there to fill up space until you get to the end. They get stuck because the middle is extremely crucial. If the middle of your work isn’t as compelling as the beginning and ending, you’ve got work to do.
This is where the plot and characterizations get a workout. A flashy beginning and an explosive ending don’t mean squat without the middle to tie it all together. And if you lose your momentum in the middle of the story, the reader might not bother going to the end.
So what’s one suggestion to keep your middle rolling?
Readers love it when the bad stuff characters go through in a story gets worse. It’s not because we’re all sadists at heart, but it gives us more reason to root for the character. If Frodo got to skip off to Mordor and flick that wretched ring into a barely active volcano, readers would yawn.
So in a nutshell, this is when you make things worse for your characters. The Law of Murphy rules. And if you find it’s a struggle to write a middle worth its mettle, just keep telling yourself what you tell your protagonist: What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.
And on that note, Happy Birthday America! Whew, I’m glad I made it to the end of this blog….