Muddled middle

Thomas Trebitsch Parker said, “The trick is not a great beginning but a great middle.” And Raymond Chandler advised, “When the plot flags, bring in a man with a gun.”

I thought I had my middle problems solved when I wrote the outline to this novel, but that was before my character started making bad decisions and talking back to her elders and falling in love with the wrong guy and creating far more drama in her life than necessary. The original outline called for eighteen chapters. I’m now up to twenty-seven, and I haven’t even brought in the guy with the gun yet.

But since the action in the last chapter flagged, it’s time to get with the shooting and the flared tempers and the blood splatter. Don’t worry. I introduced the gun early in the book. So I’m not just sticking it in there for effect. It’s time for a little drama that isn’t self-created by my character. She’s caused enough trouble. Now it’s time for consequences.

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