There’s no better feeling than starting a brand new novel, except maybe typing the words ‘the end,’ when you’re finished.
Let’s all agree however, that there’s no worse feeling than trying and failing to write the all important middle.
We’ve all felt it; attempting to wade through the set up of act two before your midpoint climax, wishing you had a little something more exciting to write.
If you’re hitting the Middle Book Blues, try the tips below.
If you’re struggling with writing a scene or a piece of dialogue, skip it. Double star ** so you know where to come back to, and head to the next scene. You can fill in the gaps at the end.
Seriously. Put your brain and your fingers on auto pilot and button bash the keyboard. Write dialogue with no tags. Purple Prose the heck out of the scenery. Pull a Shakespeare and let your protagonist monologue for forever and a day. Once you’ve started letting the words flow, you may just write yourself out of problem.
Sleep on it.
Sometimes, stepping back and taking a break is all you need. Put the novel away, go back to it the next day and hope something unsticks.
Stop. Breathe. Think. Note down what the scene is trying to achieve, and what comes after. Then take five, ten, fifteen minutes to write down some small plot points. Characters A and B argue. B walks off. A monologues and then follows. C is left behind.
Making small jumps from action to action will give you less to focus on, so you can think of the natural next step.
Make it worse.
If you still don’t know what to do next, then think of the worst thing that could happen to your characters, and write that. Doesn’t matter if it logically doesn’t make sense from a plot point of view. If you’re that bored writing it, then something, anything needs to happen to make it not boring.
Take some notecards and write down some prompts. If you get stuck, randomly pick a prompt from the pile and make it part of your scene.
How do you get over the Middle Book Blues? Let me know in the comments.
Good thoughts, and happy writing!