The Dreaded Middle of the Story…

3 Oct

For the life of me, I cannot understand why groups of people watch videos on their laptops at Starbucks, with the sound at full volume for the entire café to hear.  And, on a Saturday night, no less.  

Fortunately, I finished reading through my novel before this heinous crime commenced.  As you know, when I say novel, at this point I’m referring to the 40,000 words I’ve written on this particular draft.  Now I’m just trying to think clearly enough to write a coherent post, which is difficult given the blaring video noise combined with “Everybody Hurts” wailing in the speaker overhead.

I told you all the other day I was encouraged by what I’d read up to that point, and it’s still true.  However, my suspicions were right on the nose – the last 5,000 words or so are an unrefined mess.  Buried in the mess, thank goodness, is great potential.  

Poor little protagonist, I sent him undefended into the dreaded middle of the story, wandering aimlessly.  Here’s the thing.  There are crises, oh yes, and fiascos that move the plot along pretty well.  The problem?  They all happen in the same day.  It’s an overwhelming amount of crises to squeeze into one twenty-four hour chunk of time.  I wrote it, and I can’t even keep track of all the horrible things that plagued my little guy from breakfast to dinner.  

So, yeah.  That’s obviously an issue.  The good thing is that, spread out, they’ll make quite a good way to build the story.  Over time.  With room to breathe, and sufficient time for emotion to grow, in both the character and the reader.  After reading through, I have a clear picture of what needs to be cut, what needs to be added, and what needs to be switched to earlier/later in the story.  Fixing this portion will fill in the cracks with some necessary connecting events, instead of just tacking on unnecessary filler.  My characters should then be positioned to proceed to the next set of Big Events, and then to the Even Bigger Final Events.  No filler, no tangents, only the stuff that matters.

I like knowing that I know what’s wrong and how to fix it.

6 Responses to “The Dreaded Middle of the Story…”

  1. Merrilee Saturday / 3 October 09 at 9:19 pm #

    Honey that is awesome! Are you all fired up now to rewrite and charge forward?

    • owlandsparrow Wednesday / 7 October 09 at 3:17 pm #

      Thanks! Yes, I am incredibly fired up – my brain is going at a rapid-fire pace today, which is exciting and helpful. I have a lot of new ideas for my middle section. Fortunately, those ideas came pre-packaged with ideas of how to work them in with what I already have (rather than having to do intricate surgery).

  2. Linda Tuesday / 6 October 09 at 5:03 pm #

    Congrats! It sounds like you have a clear view of where to go and how to get there. I’m excited for you.

    • owlandsparrow Wednesday / 7 October 09 at 3:18 pm #

      Thanks, Linda! I’m excited, too. This story keeps surprising me. I think I’ve figured something out, and then it gets even more clear. Then, once that’s clear, more connections keep popping up. Writing is so amazing, and so much fun. I never cease to wonder at how the mind works while in creation mode.

  3. Laura Best Tuesday / 6 October 09 at 6:17 pm #

    I always think that no matter what we write nothing is ever wasted. In fact, sometimes when I’m making cuts to a story I’ll save it to make sure come clever line or idea isn’t lost completely. Just in case….It sounds as though you are on the right track!!

    • owlandsparrow Wednesday / 7 October 09 at 3:20 pm #

      That’s a great idea, to save even the things you cut. I’ve done that before with some songs I’ve written. I’ll write one verse, or a chorus, but won’t be able to figure out more for the life of me. I tuck it away, and voila! Years later, when I find it, I’m like, of course! It’s always helpful to see something old with fresh eyes, and repurpose it in a much more fitting way.

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