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I’m revising my WIP and I suspect the middle sags slightly. It has made me realise that if I don’t lift it I risk losing the reader at this point.
This has happened to me on a few occasions when reading another author’s novel. If I find it’s packed with too much information, or if it seems to be going nowhere, I tend to stop reading or skip a few pages. I know that’s a sin – but what can I say? It’s from reading other novels that I pick up what not to do as well as what really works.
I’ve read conflicting arguments on the pace of the mid-story. Some articles recommend allowing the reader to ‘take a breather’, whilst other articles recommend the roller-coaster ride throughout the whole novel, including the mid-story.
Personally, I like a gentle pace interspersed with action, shock, conflict, passion or mystery. However, I often find the mid-story a challenge when writing my own novels.
Something I turn to is a mind map. I find the visual display an easier way to plot what is happening and what needs to happen to move the story along. I write the name of the character and theme in the centre of the page and then I branch out and write down ideas as they come into my mind. I may not use all of the ideas, but at least I have something to work with. If necessary, I stick A4 sheets together to make the mind map as big as I need.
Another thing I do is go back a few chapters and see where I was at. Sometimes changing a few details brings fresh ideas to my mind and novel. One thing I always do is keep writing – as I’ve mentioned in previous posts – as it’s better to have rubbish words to work with rather than no words at all.
Hope this spurs you on if suffering a mid-story slump. Welcome to all my new followers – great to see you!
Happy Word Flow One & All