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 https://wp.me/p3Xihq-322
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea