How to Write the Middle of Your Novel

In the previous article on Beginnings, we discussed the importance of opening scenes and particularly the first lines in which your goal was to hook the reader. We talked about introducing at least one character early on, maybe two. If you did this, and neither of them are your main character, you have the perfect set up for bringing him onto the stage.

Some novels, some great ones in fact, do not let us meet the main character until late in the first part of the novel, Act One or even the start of Act Two. If you’ve decided to do that, one way that works well is to have your characters talk about him, praise him, tell นิยายแปล interesting stories or raise questions about him. In doing this, by the time we meet him our interest is piqued, we’re anxious to know that character.

In the beginning you also put us in the time and place of the story and set up the dramatic situation that will keep us reading over the next few hundred pages. Now as you come to the ‘middle’ of your book, Act Two as it were, you will be developing the plot. Middles are said to be the most difficult part of the novel writing process, but if you don’t buy into that, just work your story, you can get through it with little stress, and actually enjoy doing it. It most likely will be longer than the beginning or the ending. Good. That gives you the broad canvas on which to write the truly important part of the book. The beginning must hook us, the ending must satisfy us, the middle is the grit of the story itself.

If you’ve set up conflict as you should have, now is the time to deepen it. If you feel you need to resolve it, don’t do that until you’ve set up the next conflict or obstacle. Once you resolve all the conflicts your story is over even if you didn’t intend it to be. Be sure a new conflict overlaps before you resolve the first one. The more obstacles you can believably create, the more tension and the more your reader is going to be turning pages well into the night.

For your story to be a hit you’ll need these obstacles and part or total resolutions for your characters but you’ll also need to write good, believable dialog to develop those characters. You want to stay in the point of view you’re using. That is not to say you can’t change point of view but be careful in doing so. You will confuse readers if you pop around to different points of view. If you are in Bill’s POV and he makes a statement but then you write “John didn’t argue but he didn’t believe that for one minute” you have just switched the viewpoint. The reader can’t know what John thinks since we’re looking through Bill’s eyes. You could write ‘John didn’t appear to believe that at all.’ Now the story has stayed in the same point of view but the reader is given a glimpse of what John might be thinking. Changing points of view is risky. New writers might be wise to limit changes to chapters, making the switch clear perhaps even by giving the chapter a title. It takes an experienced hand to change POVs in paragraphs. Writers learning the craft would be well advised to avoid it. If the Point of View technique is not clear to you, be sure to study it in books or online articles on writing, as this is a point (pun intended) that can seriously squirrel up a story.

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