Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Writers' Wednesday: The Dreaded Sagging Middle

Well, I've been moving right along, writing about 2000 words/1 chapter a day on my latest WIP, but yesterday I found myself slowing down. Badly. Struggling to care about my scene. My characters. And having no idea what comes next.

Ugh. It's Sagging Middle Syndrome.

To be fair, I'm not quite at the middle yet, but the pace is getting bogged down and I know it's coming. I thought I'd blog today about ways to tackle it, but I still struggle with that myself, so last night I went Googling in search of some help.

I found it on the website of agent Donald Maass, a widely respected agent in the business who gives workshops on, most notably, Writing the Breakout Novel. And this month, he's posting (and Tweeting about) ways to move your novel from so-so to breakout level. Just what I needed to give my sagging scenes a lift!

Here's the link - as of last night there were 40 tips listed for ways to jump-start your writing. A couple of my favorites:

What miracle does your MC pray for? Make it impossible...then make it happen.

Find a corner, crossroads or dark object in your story. Invest it with eeriness, unknown portent or dread. Go there three times.

Before a new character debuts, give your MC an expectation or fear. Make the reality three times better or worse.

Now, go check out the whole list - and be inspired! Happy writing......

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