Saturday, July 31

Fixing a Sagging Middle in Your Novel by Kay Keppler

That might be as few bullets one per chapter or maybe one per scene. Keep that list outline short and fundamental. Not just is that simpler and less time consuming, however brevity helps you see more plainly what youve got.

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Make these progressively meaningful or immediate. Make your character sweat..

To develop story tension, you need to make certain that your dispute is strong enough and the stakes for your characters are high enough..

When youre done, examine to see if every plot occasion– every bulleted product– is an outcome of the bullet that preceded it and that every bullet leads inevitably to the next..

To get that job, she requires 1) training, 2) a successful job interview, 3) a positive assessment from her boss..

Editors Note: If youre interested in taking a class on how to modify and revise your manuscript, including fixing the sagging middle, then have a look at our Edit Your Novel Bootcamp here: .

By the end of any scene, the reader needs to feel that they must turn the page to learn if everything ended up fine.

Fixing whats incorrect with your drooping middle suggests the difference in between a delighted reader who buys your next book and a big DNF from a disappointed fan.

Who (or what) is keeping your character from achieving your objectives?.


Lets take an appearance at what might have occurred.

Keep that front and center in your story. Dont be scared to have her concentrate on these in every chapter to remind the reader whats essential..

The characters broke down.

Thats not to say that you cant present brand-new details to include stress or problems. By all methods, go all out!.

Stack on the threats, barriers, and challenges..

Cause and result: Thats what keeps readers turning the page.

That may be as couple of bullets one per chapter or possibly one per scene. Keep that list summary fundamental and short. If your book meanders a bit into backstory or subplots, tighten up, modify, or write new scenes to improve its flow. Is every bullet point scene necessary to the story and its result? Let your villain win some of the intermediate objectives.

Your story will be more complex, however the structure is the very same: have your character solve a set of significantly challenging difficulties to accomplish her last objective. The slow rate in the middle of your book will take care of itself if she has enough difficulties.

The plot broke down.

What failed with the sagging middle?.

Lets state your character desires to purchase a house (her goal) since she grew up impoverished and living in a cars and truck and she does not desire her own kids to experience that kind of deprivation (inspiration)..

Check to see that your antagonist is at least as strong and interesting as your protagonist if youre not sure that your conflict is adequately strong.

Even if readers want a pleased ending, nobody wants to read 300 pages of a story where your character got a task, saved some cash, and bought the home of her dreams..

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You wish to produce a chain of cause-and-effect occasions that makes your book unputdownable..


If your book meanders a bit into backstory or subplots, tighten up, modify, or compose brand-new scenes to improve its circulation. Is every bullet point scene necessary to the story and its outcome? If not, erase it.

Readers need to understand whats the worst that can happen, and that understanding needs to always prowl in the background if you wish to hold their interest..

Appears quite basic, right?.

Just bear in mind that then the next scene has to develop on that..

The plot fell apart.
The characters broke down.
The story stakes broke down.
The stress vanished.


If youre having trouble with a book thats lost momentum, see if any of these problems are whats holding you back..

The tension disappeared.

Tension originates from dispute.

You might require an unbiased eye to assist you find your specific story issue, however 4 common issues will require the air out of your manuscript faster than a needle can pop a balloon. These are:.

Kay Keppler is an author Zero Gravity Outcasts, Betting on Hope, Gargoyle: Three Enchanting Romance Novellas, and editor of fiction and nonfiction– Angels Kiss and Outsource It!

These are the foundation of story, and something went sideways with one or more of them..

What are your protagonists objectives?.

I talked about outlining last month. I understand– you dislike doing it. Its the best way to see whats going on with the bones of your story, specifically if that story isnt working..


She resides in northern California. Contact her here at Writers Fun Zone in the remarks listed below, or at [email secured] to ask questions, recommend subjects, or if you prefer, grumble


The story stakes fell apart.

These are intermediate objectives with their own sets of difficulties, which she needs to successfully browse to achieve her final objective.

This is the heart of your story, the pump that keeps the story moving and reader interest and attention flowing.

S/he needs to constantly be striving to attain these goals, inspired by wants and needs, getting rid of difficulties all the method. You want to provide your characters company– keep them busy doing what they require to do to get what they desire..

Does she end up being homeless?.
Does Child Protective Services remove her kids?.
Does she capture pneumonia and pass away?.

Keep some element of tension– either from the characters main objective or intermediate objectives– in every scene..

What occurs if your character is unable to purchase the house?.

To buy your house, she requires a task that pays more.

Make a bullet-point list of what you have up until now and where you plan to go..

Raise that Sagging Middle.

If she failed, readers want to know the obstacles she dealt with and the repercussions. Thats the tension that makes a story.

Numerous writers are excited at the start of a story, composing quick and furiously, and know how it ends. But the middle of a book often loses momentum for no apparent reason and without any clear option..

Let your villain win a few of the intermediate goals. And do not fix the dispute too quickly. When the dispute ends, the story ends..

Lets welcome back regular monthly writer, editor, and novelist, Kay Keppler, as she shares with us “Repairing a Sagging Middle in Your Novel.” Delight in!

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