The Dread of the Middle


What is it about the middle of books? I’ve read good stuff and bad stuff about writing the middle of the book. One author, Jerry Jenkins, takes the attitude that the “desert of the middle” is basically that you either stretched an idea way too far, or else you ended up not having good enough stories to fill out your novel.

Nancy Kress, on the other hand, places the blame on one thing… because ANY idea is good enough to finish a novel with – you lost direction, or just didn’t know where you’re going.

I’m thinking Kress is the more correct, because when I get bogged down it’s because A). I don’t SEE my way to the next spot (not knowing where it’s going) or B). I just am… procrastinating on writing a crucial part that I don’t want to write.

My 3rd novel features some intense brutality upon the people in it. There was a sequence that I just put off writing and put off writing… once I knuckled down and wrote it, the rest of the book poured out of me.

The maunder of the middle can sometimes just be, “I hate this part and I don’t want to write it.”

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