Today, we just moved past the middle; the middle of the month of February and the middle of the challenge. It seems appropriate at this time to think about the middle of our story. Let’s take a look at what’s in the middle and how do we keep our reader engaged through this part of our story.
The middle constitutes the largest part of your story. Unlike the beginning of your story, writers become less enchanted at this point, the romance of writing a story is gone, the excitement of writing the beginning has faded and now the work begins.
Having an outline goes a long way in helping you to staying on track through the middle of your story and keeping your readers interested and engaged. I recommended in the guide creating a story arc to help you understand your plot points. Knowing those plot points in advance and understanding the direction your story is headed is important in not getting lost in the middle and avoiding a sagging middle.
The middle of your story starts with your ancestor’s reaction to the inciting incident, that reaction triggers all future events to follow. If you don’t want your middle to sag, and you wish to keep your readers engaged then your middle should contain some important details.
Avoid a Mushy Middle
- In the middle, you reveal for your reader a deeper understanding of your ancestor’s problem that propels them toward the ending, hinting of coming changes. The middle adds depth to your story, it shows what it all means, or otherwise your story is nothing more than your ancestors acting out the events of their life.
- In the middle, you reveal the obstacles, the plot points facing your ancestor, each one escalating to a crisis point, creating tension keeping your reader moving forward. Things become harder and harder for your ancestor, they overcome obstacles but these victories are short lived as the next struggle is quickly facing them. Tension must be at its peak through the middle keeping the reader engaged and moving forward.
- In the middle, your ancestor begins to take charge of the situation and find new ways to reach his goal. The middle will demonstrate the growth your ancestor is going through as he looks for new ways to overcome his obstacles and are no longer reacting to the situation but taking matters into his own hands to change the situation.
- Your ancestor begins an internal journey, developing deeper relationships with family or friends or revealing his own self development. Not all the obstacles your ancestor faced were physical obstacles but emotional obstacles as well. Your middle story should demonstrate an internal change in your ancestor as well.
- The middle of your story should foreshadow the final crisis; the greatest obstacle your ancestor faces. However, by the end of the middle your ancestor should face his greatest obstacle, the crisis point.
The middle of the story is not filler, it is the story and it’s important to flesh it so that the beginning and ending come together in a way that will satisfy your reader.