1. CGB

    CGB Active Member

    May 15, 2014
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    Writing from the middle

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by CGB, Oct 12, 2015.

    SO I was reading one of those Kindle self-published books on "how to write" (yeah yeah I know), and this gentlemen advocated "writing from the middle" as in the Midpoint. (Like literally the 50% mark). He says that in many great movies, you come to pretty much the exact middle and there is a "Mirror Moment" in which the character kind of questions himself, his psychology, where to go from here, etc.

    Ultimately this person that the "Mirror Moment" is actually what your story is all about, and therefore writing it first will greatly help you avoid changing things later when critics say your characters are too flat/plot doesn't go anywhere.
  2. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

    Aug 12, 2015
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    London, UK
    Meh. Like all of these books, this advice is only useful for authors whose style this fits. For the rest of us it doesn't work.

    All he's basically saying is you need to know your character arc and plot before you write and there a gazillion other ways to do that. Then there's a good percentage of authors who can sit down at page 1 and write a novel without knowing their character arc or plot first, or only know it in very basic terms, and they put out excellent novels.

    My advice ( :D ) is to collate all the advice you read, work out what it's saying at a basic level, then experiment until you find YOUR way.
  3. xanadu

    xanadu Contributor Contributor

    Oct 21, 2008
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    Cave of Ice
    Hey, if it works for you then it works for you, but I can't imagine ever doing that with good results. For me, my characters grow organically from beginning to end, and trying to write the middle without having half the story's character development behind my MC would definitely result in utter failure. I guarantee that if I were to write the same story both ways, the character would be completely different from one to the other.

    But that's just me. Different strokes and all.
    thelonelyauthorblog likes this.
  4. thelonelyauthorblog

    thelonelyauthorblog New Member

    Oct 12, 2015
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    Hello. I can't see this process working for me. Many of these how to write books give some questionable advice. If it works for you the it is great. Everyone has their own methods. Good luck.
  5. Tesoro

    Tesoro Contributor Contributor

    Jan 3, 2011
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    A place with no future
    As much as I like James Scott Bells first books on writing I kind of agree with Tenderiser on this. All you actually need is knowing what that moment is to make it work, or actually knowing how the story will develop before you start writing. That is, if you follow something like a three act structure or similar, to know your plotpoints beforehand.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  6. DeathandGrim

    DeathandGrim Senior Member

    Dec 28, 2012
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    Virginia Beach
    En Medias Res? If it works for you. I like doing it because it saves me the chore of having to develop relationships sometimes and characters know each other well already and maybe some big event has also happened as a reference point. But that's not always gonna work
  7. Commandante Lemming

    Commandante Lemming Contributor Contributor

    May 8, 2014
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    Washington, DC, USA
    That's an interesting point of view. The midpoint of the story is definitely important and usually a small turning point of some sort. Although personally, I'm more of a three-act structure/Hollywood Formula type of guy, so I think of the midpoint as the peak of the protagonist's ego, the point at which they feel really empowered...usually right before they realize that they're in way over their head. From there it starts sliding down to the low point/climax at the end of Act 2.

    See graphs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-act_structure

    But either way, your midpoint is going to be one of the key bits. I think there probably is something to the idea that there's a sort of moment of internal discovery in the middle - after your character has been trained to do what they need to do, where they realize they aren't the same person anymore, or that they can't be the same person and overcome the problem. Although this can also happen at the end of Act 2. And you definitely should know what about your character changes through the story, regardless of where it happens.

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