Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Beginning, Middle, End

Ah, it's your favorite rambler with another segment of rambling thoughts, so don't change that dial.

I've often been asked if I plot. Nope, I'm an incurable pantser. I love writing the beginning of a novel, setting up a wee bit of foreshadowing, developing the characters, painting the setting. I think that's my favorite part of the novel, because at that point everything is new.

For some, the least favorite is the middle. Many writers call it the sagging middle. Not me, I love the middle also, because it's a challenge to put the characters in impossible situations, then find solutions that aren't trite or normal. I think of at least three possible solutions, but I always throw out the first because if I can think of it first, so can the reader. I want them to be a little surprised if not totally surprised. No -- I don't write suspense, but I think this theory works well with anything we write.

Now the end, that's the hardest part for me. I struggle with endings because I don't want them to be cheesy. I've rewritten the ending to A Noble Sacrifice three times so far and I expect I'll rewrite it again before I'm through. The ending is also difficult because an author has to wrap up all loose ties without it sounding like an info dump. Writing is about weaving the different threads into a cohesive blanket of words. And writing the ending means saying good-bye to characters we've fallen in love with. I am going to miss Joyella and her stubborn ways, but I'm really going to miss Tared and his bold but gentle personality. Maybe that's why I keep rewriting the end.


Donica Covey said...

I personally HATE the sagging middle, but its so nice to see someone who finds joy in each stage of the book! Fabulous!



Becka said...

Lately, I've been having trouble with my middles and I'm not talking about my spare tire(s). LOL

I don't know what it is. But when BEAST was halfway I kinda sagged, and a few of my WIPS are slow going, and I didn't know why. Perhaps it's due to this sagging middle syndrome.

Hey, at least now I feel a little better, as I thought for awhile I was losing steam as an author . . .

Scary thought.