Saturday, February 25, 2012

Why I Love the 'Sagging Middle'

Hello and welcome to Tabby’s Nocturnal Nights blog!  This month I am blogging about one of my favorite parts of writing.  I’m sure most of you have heard of ‘the sagging middle’.  It’s where most writers lose their story.  They get stuck in the transition between beginning and end. 
                The beginning is always fun.  It’s when the story is fresh and new and we have yet to really meet our characters and plot.  I consider it the ‘fireworks’ stage of my writing.  Before everything gets complacent and known.  The beginning of the relationship, if you will. 
                The end is almost as exciting as the beginning because you get to tie up all those loose ends, go through the Big Black Moment when everything is lost, and pull it back together.  How exciting is it to blow the story to pieces and put it back together? 
                Then there’s the middle.  The characters now know each other, the plot is moving along, it’s too early to tie up loose ends or break it apart.  So where does that leave you?  For me, the most exciting part of the book!  I tend to suck at beginnings.  I begin writing with a scene, a character, and not much planning.  Usually, I write three chapters then go back and take notes on who my characters are, where the plot is going.  Most often I end up rewriting the beginning many, many times.  In my current WIP I rewrote the beginning seven times before I got it right.  But, I’m okay with that. 
                As for endings, equally as bad for me.  I can tie things up, blow things apart, but just seem to lose steam in the end.  So, I’m not good at beginnings and I’m even worse at endings.  But, I love the middle.  For me that is a time of discovery.  That is the fireworks stage for me.  It’s when I really dig into character GMC’s—Goal, Motivation, Conflict.  The part where my characters are learning each other, keeping secrets, revealing secrets, and tension is high.  It’s where the plot begins to come clear and the villain starts to put the screws to my hero/heroine.  For me, the middle is all about the characters.  Where they must face their biggest fears and risk their goals, where the reader gets to really know the people they are investing time in. 
                So, that’s why I love ‘the sagging middle’.  How about you?  What is your favorite part?  The beginning, middle, or end? 
                Thanks for dropping by and have a great day!

Jennifer Kamptner
w/a Jennifer Lowery
2006 Golden Heart Finalist
Mid-Michigan Mirror Editor
Twitter @JLoweryauthor
Facebook @ Jennifer Lowery~Author


Sheri Fredricks said...

I've always loved writing to the middle. Introducing the characters and challenges, building the tension. A sagging middle? Well,if I don't outline properly, it happens to me. Maybe I need to blow things up like you do. :)

Brenda said...

I totally agree. I love the middle--hate the beginning and I'm sad at the end. But the middle is where you can delve deeper into your characters and their feelings for each other. The middle is the place to show the readers how much your characters have come to mean to each other. Without this, then the readers won't give a fig if they end up together at the end.