February 16, 2007, Newsletter Issue #98: Middles

Tip of the Week

In stories and novels, it is often true that the beginnings and ends are strong, while the middle sections tend to sag--long passages leading up to the pieceīs climax that donīt seem to have a lot of action or else the action is strung too far apart to be engaging. The middle is a good place to tease out some of the threads you have planted in the beginning chapters. In fact, the middle is what links the beginning to the end, so concentrate heavily on whether or not you are accomplishing this. Make a list of the major threads you want to carry through, and work on tugging at them in, say, pages 100-175. This will keep the piece moving and the reader engaged through the end.

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Jerry Mayo