Monday, March 07, 2016

How to Overcome the Murky Middle

Writing a novel is difficult work. There are some people who plan out every word in advance and some just start writing and hope for the best.



If you're a "pantser" like me, you can easily get stuck midway through. You haven't planned where this sucker is going, so now you have to make some tough decisions. This is where it's easy to give up...but don't!



Instead, read my tips over on Quanie Miller's blog. I tell you how to make it through "the murky middle" to get to "the end."




Also, don't forget to sign up to participate in my Dear Teen Me blog hop. Just add your link here and post a blog Friday, March 11 that includes a letter to your teenage self.

37 comments:

  1. I still see what I am in the process of writing as becoming a memoir. I have no clue how to fictionalize what I have written down. My question is how much detail to include.

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    1. I think even with memoirs, you have to let the story guide you. When you start worrying about not leaving things out, you run the risk of trying to stay true to the facts rather than telling an interesting story, if that makes sense.

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  2. My WIP has a "Murky Middle." Your post has helped. Time for this punster to write a synopsis.

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    1. Mm, that should be panster. My fingers keep hitting the wrong key. :(

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    2. Punster sounds interesting, too! Hope the synopsis helps.

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  3. I wrote my first book as a pantser and never again. Ha ha. Now, I can't imagine how I did it. I write rough outlines at the start, so I no longer have murky middles. A synopsis should help a lot, sort of an outline afterall. :-)

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    1. I don't blame you. Yes, being a pantser can be quite a burden sometimes!

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  4. I can't fly by the seat of my pants. At least not in a general sense. I have to have the entire story planned and mapped. BUT...
    I only have a vague notion of how I want each chapter to go. In this way, I find the story takes on a life of it's own. And I have altered how a story has ended by working it this way.

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    1. I think even when I've planned it out, I've always had only a vague idea of how each chapter will go. The story can take over sometimes and do things in ways you never would have imagined!

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  5. Too much work to write a novel and I've never wanted to be an author. I so love to read though and always, always, always have a book that I'm reading. Great authors rock.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Learning how much goes into the process does tend to give you more of an appreciation of the books you enjoy.

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  6. Pantsing and planning, a wee bit of both works for me. Heavy on the pantsing though and then whittling it down to a story.

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    1. I say whatever works to get it on paper.

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  7. I never wrote a book but I've written articles that were published and I only write when I feel a nagging need to put it on paper. I usually have to be in a relaxed mood with no interference from distractions. I write better when I'm alone and could not sit in a pub or public place to write. My thoughts are usually already in my head and when I write, it flows without planning. I'm a realist and would not be able to write fiction. To me that would be hard work.

    I've been encouraged to write by some authors but I certainly would not want to write to make money. That would be hard work. I don't even know in what category I would fit in, maybe I would fit better in the spiritual. and in the story telling category... One thing I know is that when I write, it makes me feel good and sometimes it makes other people feel good.

    Hugs
    JB

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    1. Yes, once you start writing for money, that's when it gets difficult! That's when it has to be a certain way...and you get those revision requests/edits. It's been a day of those from my clients, so I can attest to that!

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  8. Off to read. And, as usual, a big thank you to writers. All of you. However you do it.

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  9. Heading off to read your post...

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  10. Oh coo! I'm always up for writing advice.

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  11. Off to check out overcoming the murky middle. Love the L'Amour quote.

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  12. Ah, the middle. Even plotters experience a slump in the middle. At least I do, because planning doesn't always work out the way you think it will.

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  13. Hello, Fellow Pantster!

    I just hit one of those ugly "I don't know what comes next" points in my own first draft. I finally realized I need to back up and change the end of the last chapter. So, that's what's on my agenda for tonight ...

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  14. Ah yes, the muddle in the middle.

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  15. I get scared even thinking about starting to write the book about my mom and then you write this and I feel better..thanks

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  16. I am totally stuck right smack dab in the middle of my WIP, but that's mostly because I've yet to find that elusive cure for having to sleep :)

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  17. Totally agree! Writing is hard work, and reminds me once again that authors are born. Something in them tells them to write, no matter what, and I admire that trait, as well as the finished project. Great article! Hugs...RO

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  18. Proud pantser here! Yeah a novel can get murky all over if you're not careful.

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  19. I'm a pantser too. I'm always terrified I won't know where the story is going the next day, but as long as I sit down and do the work, it comes. Doesn't stop the fear, though.

    You'd think after nine books I'd come to trust the process, but no.

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  20. I'm a plotter, so I know my middles already. That's a great tip to stop and plot to make it through.

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  21. I'm a pantser, too! It's left me with 4 wildly incoherent novel drafts and little to show for it! (I suppose I shouldn't blame being a pantser, it's also my lack of discipline to go back. Not that I don't like revising- I do - but I always have something new I'm itching to start.) Going to hop over to your tips & maybe join the blog hop, too. Hadn't heard of it, but sounds cool!

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  22. The blog hop sounds like fun. I'm in!

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  23. Heading over to check out your tips. :)
    ~Jess

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