Skip to main content

The End of Sagging Middles by Mary Deal

  

 
 
Many books I've read start off with great beginnings and even end with surprises. However, their middles left me wondering why I should keep reading. Truth is, the beginning had set up a situation I wanted to see to completion, so I read to the end, but getting through the middle was nearly an arduous task.
You've heard the term sagging middles, right? Many books begin and end in a spectacular manner but the middles offer little. In order to keep your story from developing a sagging middle, you must keep the action going.
In a crime investigation, have some clues show up, only to be disproved. Or have the perpetrator almost caught but gets away.
In science fiction, when the hero flies to a distant planet to rescue his love, have him meet with landing bays locked down tight with no other access to the dying star which will eventually explode. He further meets resistance from ships guarding the planet who want to see it explode into oblivion, taking all inhabitants with it.
In a romance, have two people falling in love, only to have one person come in contact with the person with whom they were previously involved in a obsessive and addictive affair.
The prescription for sagging middles in all genres is to bolster the action by keeping it going. Anything new can happen in the middle of a story as long as it follows the rest of the action and is written in such a manner as to not look contrived to hold the beginning and ending together. Whatever happens must be natural to what was offered in the beginning. Whatever is offered in the middle must also be instrumental in bring about the plot's stunning conclusion.
What action is included should serve to keep the conflict and great tension building throughout. By building in intensity, you not only hold interest through your story middle but set up a more dramatic ending.
 
Mary Deal

Author, Painter, Photographer
Eric Hoffer Book Award Winner
National Indie Excellence Book Awards Finalist (past)
Pushcart Prize Nominee
Global eBook Awards Nominee
2014 National Indie Excellence Book Awards Finalist
Global eBook Awards Bronze
Global eBook Awards Silver
Art Gallery: http://www.MaryDealFineArt.com
Gift Gallery: zazzle.com/IslandImageGallery*


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Review-Getting Nudge By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Excerpted from the newest book in Carolyn Howard-Johnson's multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers,  How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career. You need only a few essentials in your Amazon tool box to build the traffic crucial for your reviews to be seen—and to convince readers to buy your book. , How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing careerhelps you get the reviews that influence Amazon's sales ranking and this section gives you everything else you need to maximize them. Amazon sales rankingsare dandy little aids for evaluating how your book is selling. Not that you should fixate on that, but having an indicator that your book might need a little sales boost is nice. And—when those ratings are nurtured—they prod Amazon's algorithms to lead people who read books similar to you…

Ampersands: Pretty Is as Pretty Does

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers Have you noticed how ampersands turn to gibberish when they are entered into some blog services like Google's blogpsot.com? That is only the beginning of problems ampersands cause for editors, and publishers of all kinds. Many of the difficulties they cause go unnoticed except by the publishing pros we would all like to impress like agents, librarians, bookstore event directors, and the acquisition editors at Knopf!  That's why I added a new section to the second edition of the winningest book in my #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers, The Frugal Editor. Because ampersands seem to be so popular these days, it's especially important for editors and authors who publish books to know a little about their history, how to use them, and how gatekeepers and readers of Lynn Truss's famous zero-tolerance approach to grammar might view them. So, I thought I'd s…