1. writesalot
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    writesalot Member

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    What do I do now?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by writesalot, Dec 29, 2008.

    Okay I have a really big problem when it comes to finishing a long story or novel. I get an idea and start writing. I know how it begins and how I want it to end but I can't seem to fill in the middle part. Does anyone have any tips on ways to overcome writer's block and fill in the middle part of your story?
     
  2. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Three questions to ask yourself: What does your character want? How could s/he get it? What sorts of things could get in the way?
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I have the same problem. When I write, I have a beginning and an ending in mind. It's the middle part that always takes the longest. First, figure out how the character changed from the beginning to the end. For example, let's say your story starts out with a rich and happy character. In the end, he/she dies. Ask yourself what could have happened to bring on such a drastic change in his/her life. This is usually what I do, and I find that it helps most of the time.

    Also, it may help to just freewrite. Write whatever comes to your mind about the story, and see if any of that helps add to the middle part.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Writing a novel is never simply writing a story. A novel contains many stories, interwoven and interacting to shape the primary storyline.

    Maybe your story isn't novel-ready. Some stories almost spontaneously spawn new subordinate plots, just because of the multifaceted consequences of the main premise. Others are simply better suited to be short stories.
     
  5. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I can't just write a longer work (novel, serial, etc.) without at least a general mental outline of the main things that will happen--not just the beginning and end but a substantial part of the middle.

    I think you'd do well from either outlining, or thinking your stories over longer before sitting down to write them. Of course you're going to get stuck if you haven't at least thought over some of how it will go. You don't have to write a strict outline of EVERYTHING that happens, but you should at least have some general ideas in mind before starting out.

    The next time you get a great idea and want to write about it, don't just sit and start writing. Sit and THINK about it a while first. Writing isn't about just getting ideas and starting stories. Writing means FINISHING stories, too, and sometimes that means hard work.
     
  6. writesalot
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    writesalot Member

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    Thanks for all your tips, I'll try to keep them in mind next time I sit down to write.
     
  7. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    The middle used to be so difficult for me that I never thought I would finish a novel. I knew the beginning and the ending. I even knew some of the middle, but once I reached the middle I drew many blanks.

    Anyways, the following information is what solved this problem for me. It might work for you also.

    link
     
  8. March301
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    March301 New Member

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    I had the same problem. I found that just writing down the ending helped me come up with a middle, because I had where I wanted my characters to go and a target, if you know what I mean. It also helped me set up a mood for the rest of my story; if I wanted my story to be bittersweet at the end, I wasn't going to write a hilarious plot for the middle. If I wanted there to be a funny twist, I'd lead up to that in my writing.

    All of this babbling is just a way of saying that I need to write the end before I can come up with a middle. And it's not just a matter of knowing how I want it to end, it has to be written down.
     
  9. Hetroclite
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    Hetroclite Member

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    I see your problem right away. Like many, you think a novel is written from beginning to end just as you read them in books. This is not the case. The author first creates loads of character notes -- notes on characters' biographies, the settings' histories, narratives, dialogues -- everything the author wants the story to do, in not particular order but what is created over a period of time. When the author runs dry of all ideas, then he/she puts these notes together, as a jigsaw puzzle, into a story. The ending is written first, then the story is written backwards to build it up to that ending. The beginning is written last. So first work out what you want this story to do before continuing.
     
  10. writesalot
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    writesalot Member

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    That's not much of a help, I already know exactly how I want the story to end. I know that about most of my stories, it's getting to that end that I have trouble with.
     

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