The Middle Challenge

The hardest part about writing a novel is finishing it. – Ernest Hemingway

Writing stories is hard. Not only does a person have to come up with characters, setting, and a plot, they actually have to write this down forcing individual words into comprehensible sentences and paragraphs and chapters. Writing can be difficult and frustrating, but it can also be one of the most rewarding things that a person can do.

What is the most difficult part of writing a book? Well, the writing process (this only includes the first draft) really only has three parts: the beginning, the middle, and the end.

So, which of these is the most difficult?

I have to say that it is the middle. I know, that it can be hard to actually start writing, and that sometimes it can be nearly impossible to figure out how a story is going to end, but the middle is where just about everything happens.

The middle is where your characters have to change. The middle is where the characters learn. The middle is where the conflict has to be built up to the climax. The middle is where we are going to learn about the characters and their relationships and their backstories.

Middles are difficult to write. At least, they are difficult for me.

At some point I just want to give up. I don’t care what happens next in the story. I just want to throw the entire thing at the wall and have done with it, but if I did that then I would have to pick up the mess at some point and I don’t even want to do that. Or bury it in a deep, deep hole where it will never again be found, but that would mean that I would have to dig the hole.

Okay, I think that you get the idea.

Middles can be difficult and nerve wracking. They can also be very difficult to work through. Many a person who has managed to get through the beginning cannot get through the middle, however, if you can manage to get through the middle than there is a pretty good chance that you manage to get to the end.

The main reason, I think, that middles are so difficult to write is that so much has to happen. The middle is the part where just about everything happens.

So, here are some tips to help you get through the middle section.

First, of all set aside about five minutes (or more if you have it) and just spend that time writing. Don’t let yourself have any distractions. If you know that you are going to be watching the clock during that time put on a timer. The most important thing is just to write.

Second, just write! Now I know that I just said that, but here I mean just write, don’t write. You can come back to edit it later. Right now the story needs to be written.

Third, if you have no idea of what is supposed to happen next write down ten different things that your main character could do now, and then use the one that works for your story.

Fourth, plot out what is going to happen in the rest of the novel.

I hope that these tips will help you get through the difficult middle section.

Writing books is an incredible experience, and I hope that you will not let the middle pull you down like it does so many aspiring authors. I know that you can get through this part. I know that you can overcome this challenge and write something amazing. It may not seem amazing at first, but give it a chance everything needs time if it is going to become something truly wonderful.

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