Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Building the Middle Toward Climax

Just what is the purpose of the middle of the book. The beginning introduces the characters, hints to the desire, reasons and the setting. The purpose of the middle of the book is to lead to the climax of the story with the characters either obtaining their goal or losing it. Just what does this mean?

Each scene in the middle of the book should increase the tension and raise the stakes for the protagonistic characters. Hero, heroine or villain need to be pushed to their limits drawing the reader toward the end and the climax of the story. One thing to look at when writing the middle are what could be considered throwaway scenes. These are scenes that have no effect in driving the characters to the fateful moment when it's win or lose all. Now this scene might be well-written but the characters go no where. There is no challenge sending them forward. Take it out. Save the essence for another story.

In each scene make sure the focus character can be seen by the reader as a sort of what are they doing here. Why not just walk away and forget the goal? Make the goal of the scene be one where the focus character solves a problem that leads to another problem. Always keep the goal in mind. Always keep the focus character striving to gain something at the end of the scene and once obtaining the objective show that this is only leading them forward.

Another way to increase the tension as the story rises to the climax is to start limiting the choices the character has to act. Soon there will only be one choice and with this comes the climax of the story.

Remember when writing the middle, each scene must do at least one thing show the character development, give the reader information or show how the setting effects the characters. A scene that does one of these if good, two is better and three is wonderful. Now always possible but remember the middle of the book leads to the end.


Melissa Keir said...

I've heard a lot about moving forward or letting go. The way you explain it makes sense.


Marianne Stephens said...

The middle is so important...and that's probably why I get writer's block at this point. I know it's vital to move the story to its ending, and there's plenty of information needed in the middle to do that.