Saturday, October 28, 2023

The Dreaded Sagging Middle of Your Story. Is there a Quick Fix? By Connie Vines #Writer Tips, #Halloween Stories, #Story Structure

Sagging Middles, We All Have Them; We All Hate Them. 

So, what's a writer to do?

What we have been taught in workshops, lectures, and writing tips:

#1 Prevent a Sagging Middle by Increasing Tension.

In the move towards the climax, your characters should face increasingly bigger obstacles and challenges. Things should get more complicated – never less. Characters should have more at stake as events unfold. The emotions should run higher and deeper.

Was that helpful? 

I discovered, by trial and error (mostly error), that I needed to plot my novel first.

Usually via the standard W-plot line.  This is my starting point. Why? Because I can immediately locate my 'sagging middle'.

Then I write my important scenes. 

I always have too many characters, too many problems, and the dreaded sagging middle. 

This is when I write the final scene of my novel.

Then I go back and set up the pivotal points of my novel.

When I write my first draft of a novel, I write 3 chapters (1-3, 4-7, etc.) Then I go back and revise. While it doesn't eliminate problems in the middle of the story, it does make me catch-pacing problems.

I began my writing career writing in magazines for children/ YA readers. This is probably why this format works well for me.

Since it's almost Halloween, I have a RomCom Zombie novella, with quick passing and 'no sagging middle'.


This month's participants:

Dr. Bob Rich

Anne Stenhouse

Connie Vines

Diane Bator

Helena Fairfax

Skye Taylor

1 comment:

  1. Hi Connie, I love the idea of writing the final scene and then going back to the middle. The saggy middle can cause writers' block for some writers. I like the idea of going on to another scene and writing that, instead of writing yourself to a halt.
    It was another interesting topic this month.


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