In my earlier drafts, I thought I could just skip the middle. Who needs a middle? Isn’t that the boring part that no one reads, anyway?
But I do need a middle, for all kinds of things – the dreaded “character development” and plot complications, and lots of unintended consequences.
It turns out that I’m asking a lot of this tough little middle.
So instead of working on my middle, I’m writing this post and I’m thinking maybe in my next novel I won’t have a middle at all!
Michael Crichton was a pretty cool dude. He said this, which has been my mantra for the past few months:
“Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.”
I’m not on the seventh rewrite (yet). I think this is only the fourth, but I’m getting there. I sent my third draft to my first reader about a month ago and she told me, “It’s great, but it doesn’t have a middle.” I said, “I know, but I was hoping I could skip that part.” She said, “No. Middles are important.”
So I’ve been rewriting a middle. And once I rewrite a middle, I’ll rewrite the rest of it (again).
Murphy. The best rewriting companion.