Writing Your Story from the Middle––Part IV
We’ve been discussing writing your story from the middle, by pinning down the protagonist’s “mirror moment.” It’s a moment of self-reflection to determine what their next move is. They consider where they’ve come from, so they can plan where they’ll go from here. Click to Tweet #amwriting #writefromthemiddle
How do we write a story from the middle then? You’re going to have to know where you want your story to go, and what the character arc of your Lead character is.
What is the psychology of the Lead before the story begins? In using the movie “Casablanca” as an example, Rick had been an involved character, fighting for justice. When he lost Ilsa, he became cynical and self-absorbed, with profit-only in mind. Until he met her again. This is something you’ll want to figure out in your story.
Here are a few techniques to writing from the middle:
The character looks in the middle and asks himself “How did I get here?”
How did I get here? Only a few weeks ago, my life was planned, scheduled, and ordinary. Now, look at me? I’ve done things I never thought I would do? Some of things have hurt not only me, but others, too? What can I do now, to change my course and make things right?
Through talking with another character, the Lead can process what they’re feeling.
Lead: How did this happen?
2nd: You know what you did. Now you have to live with those consequences.
In a quiet moment, The Lead rubbed his jaw. He hadn’t noticed the three-day stubble of beard before. Had it only been three days since he’d made up his mind to do something about his life? He pulled on his boots and went to face Pa.
Visual Symbols or Motifs
She looked in the mirror and what she saw surprised her. Where did that scowl come from? Did everyone she met see that expression? No wonder no one talked with her. She wouldn’t talk with someone who looked like her image in the mirror, either.
No matter how you write the protagonist’s mirror moment, decide it before you even write the first sentence. Write your story from the middle. Click to Tweet #amwriting #writefromthemiddle
Have you taken a good look at yourself in the mirror lately? What do you see? Leave a comment and let me know.
I like stories that begin with action, then a moment of reflection, then back into action. The protagonist attempts to do something and…fails! Stop, react, think about it, and then try something else. Scene, Sequel, Scene, Sequel. (Yes, I’ve listened to writer Jim Butcher’s youtube videos: Blowing Things Up and Making People Care About It, WAY too many times. LOL) If you don’t hook the reader in right away, it doesn’t matter if the rest of the writing is brilliant.