Dec/Jan NaNoWriMo 2014/15 Day 15: Stuck in the Middle

Hey guys,

I crossed the 30,000 word mark! That’s a huge accomplishment. Although I only wrote 1,811 words today (another busy day of studying), I am happy with my progress. Here are my stats:

Word Count Goal: 28,339

Words Written: 30,614

At this rate, I think my novel will be well over 50,000. I will continue doing these updates until I finish the novel.

Today, I want to talk about middles. They are arguably the hardest part to write in a novel. However, when done right, they are the most exciting parts to read. The middle is where all the character development, all the plots twists and all the special moments of a novel live. More often than not the middle is the part that drags in stories. It’s easy to write the set up and the conclusion. Getting there, however, is half the battle.

Some stories I’ve read with great middles are Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire etc. These novels have specific plot points that anchor the second act of the story. Goblet of Fire has the three tasks of the Triwizard Tournament and both books from the The Hunger Games trilogy benefit from the high stakes of the games. These novels are tightly plotted and never once wander in a direction that detracts from the overall story.

When outlining my novel, I spend the most time plotting out the middle. This is when the hero has to undergo the most change, development and overcome the hardest obstacles. I think that some authors are afraid of hurting their main character and of putting them through the ringer. Those make for the most satisfying stories. We want to root for the hero, not watch them sleepwalk their way through the journey.

I still have trouble with middles. Each story presents its own problems and situations that need to be conquered. I think the best thing you can do is spend a lot of time outlining the middle and let your characters drive the middle. Don’t force a plot on them. It will make the middle, or Act 2, flow better.

What struggles have you had writing the middle of your story? Do you have any tips for getting through Act 2? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time, kill your darlings, slay your dragons and keep writing!

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2 thoughts on “Dec/Jan NaNoWriMo 2014/15 Day 15: Stuck in the Middle

  1. I’m in the middle of writing my first book and it’s definitely the hardest part so far. I’m hoping it gets easier soon. I started during NaNoWriMo but couldn’t keep up the pace because I got ill. I’m still plodding on but I’m amazed you have time to blog so much during a WriMo. Congrats at your 30,000 words 🙂

    • Thank you! I wanted to participate in the November NaNoWriMo but I had so much course work to complete that it made writing nearly impossible. I have a month between semesters and I thought I would try writing as much as I could of the first draft before school starts again. And when it comes to blogging, I usually schedule posts to go up in advance so I have plenty of time to write. Good luck on your novel. I cannot wait to read it when you are finished!

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