It’s that time of year when it’s hard to find a parking spot at the local gym. The holidays are a time of indulgence and we all pay the price. Everyone, it seems, is, like me, looking at a sagging middle and trying to tighten up.
As I’m peddling away on an exercise bike, it gives me time to think of the same difficulty in writing a book. For me, the story idea, the naming of characters, their descriptions, the settings, the twists are all so much fun to think of as I begin the process of writing a novel. I start off with a bang, playing with the ideas, setting up the characters for the journey they will take, etc. Then the hard, hard work starts. And by the time I get to the middle? I’m sagging.
I realize tension is the key to keeping the reader involved. The same is true for the writer. How to keep the tension up and the story moving forward isn’t easy.
One of the things I’m working on is scene structure. How to make sure it moves the story forward and keeps the tension by knowing what the protagonist and antagonist want, what their plans are for getting it, how are they changed by the conflict and outcome. Pretty basic, huh? But it’s not as easy as it seems.
What are some of the things you do to help a sagging middle?