Writing Your Story from the Middle––Part I

It’s a radical concept. Generally, the middle is the hardest place to write through. I’ve already talked about keeping the middle from “sagging” in your story. But did I once ever discuss this radical concept I’m about to introduce? I don’t think so. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a plotter, a panster, or something in-between. This new approach will bring depth and richness to your manuscript. Click to Tweet #amwriting #writefromthemiddle

I can’t claim creation of this concept. The first I heard of it was from James Scott Bell, a best-selling, award-winning author. He has a book about this. I recently attended an all-day workshop with him on this concept, and got the gist of what he was talking about, and how this technique can be used to improve your writing. It was terrific. The exercises took me places emotionally I’d normally never go to. The examples he used to make his points were such good ones.

We need to get our fiction to a greater level of competency. It shouldn’t be enough for us to merely be “capable” or “good.” The only book I’ve ever read by Stephen King (because I hate horror), is On Writing. Although most of that book is about his personal writing journey, he has some very good information on how to become a better writer. Because he states that if you’re lucky, you can be merely “competent.”

I have a friend who recently self-pubbed her own book. When I asked her about it, she admitted she “broke a lot of writing rules” in order for the story to be told the way she wanted to tell it. To me, that seemed a cop out––and a compromise of excellency. If mistakes are made in my manuscript, I don’t want them to be on purpose. That’s better for me than to be called out by a better writer about elementary mistakes that should never be made.

Anyway, the middle of a story is generally known as Act II. It’s accepted practice to write in the three-act structure, just as we watch a play or a movie. Act I is all about creating the story world, introducing the characters, and the inciting incident that sets the protagonist on some sort of journey of change.

Act II is the middle. The protagonist has made a decision. She’s stepped through a doorway of no return. So, what happens next? Click to Tweet That’s what we’re going to be looking at in this next series. #amwriting #writefromthemiddle

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