Happy Middles

I joined this romance novel(la) writing class at the start of the year. I didn’t want to, because I’ve always been insecure about my writing and joining an actual class scares me, but I joined anyway because:

  1. The class was free
  2. It is the year of the brave
  3. The class was free is facilitated by one of my favorite local authors.

So I figured: If not now, when?

Fast forward to a couple of months later, I am in the middle of my writing my novel, rushing to meet the class deadline and I realized two things:

  1. The novel is a mess
  2. I don’t like middles

It’s understandable that my novel is a mess right now because it’s a rough draft, and all my novels that went through this phase is such a spectacular mess that most of them get buried underneath all my files in my hard drive. But one thing I realized as I worked on my outline and wrote the story is that writing the middle is always the hardest part.

.

“But the middle is how you get to the end!” A writer friend told me when I lamented on this fact over Twitter. I know. Don’t get me wrong — I love reading very good middles, but it can get a bit frustrating when I’m the one writing it. It’s easy to start, and I always know how I want my story to end. I can see those two parts clearly. I know some bits of the middle, of course, but I realized that the ones I have now aren’t really enough to get me to the end. Or, they’re just vague ideas of what I want to happen, but they’re not always connected. They’re little scenes that I know would bring them to that end, but they don’t necessarily form a smooth transition from one part to another, making the readers see how these characters get from Point A to Point Z (or their fictional happily ever after). They’re awkward at best, which isn’t really a problem because I can always refine it. But they’re so hard to write sometimes because it’s not as exciting as that ending I have in my head.

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