So you thought writing a book was easy. There are too many things involved and too many things to learn to keep it from being easy. Information changes, editors (and publishers!) come and go, and the market changes almost daily.

But you have an idea for a book. Great! Where to begin? Is plotting necessary? What about minor characters? How much should they play a part in the story? And one more important thing: How to keep writing until THE END.

Or maybe you don't have an idea and need some help. WARA is here!

We hope everyone has been enjoying and learning here on Bits & Bytes. We have! We've discovered it's fun and rewarding to share what we know and get questions answered. We hope our visitors are discovering the same. Don't be shy! You can just to say hi or ask a question if you have one. Someone will find an answer.

Pat will kick off the first topic tomorrow, so don't forget to stop by then. Dates each of us will be posting are on the right.

Enjoy the first half of July!


Anonymous said...

what about gettting the middle going when it sags?

Rox Delaney said...

Good question, Jocelyn!

Here's my take on it, but others may have a different one. I've had a few sagging middles, and it usually happens because I haven't given much thought to the middle of the book. (Yeah, that's a 'well, duh!') But that's where that dreaded P word comes in: Plotting.

This doesn't mean every single scene in the book needs to be plotted. The key is in knowing your turning points, especially the main turning point that comes about midway in the story.

Reese gave an excellent explanation of turning points in May and how to know where they happen. Everybody has their own way of going about it, but it all comes down to knowing them before you start writing or, at the very least, be thinking about them and writing toward them as you go along.

For instance, if you know the hero and heroine will be sharing a kiss at the first turning point (about 1/4 of the way into the book), you can write your way to that. The same goes for the main turning point.

Turning points are usually driven by something external (like a kiss), but affect the internal of one or both characters. They make a change in how the character feels, creating a change or increase in the character's internal conflict.

Clear as mud? :)

Pat Davids said...

For me, a sagging middle means the conflict between the hero and the heroine isn't strong enough to sustain the story.

Go back and look at your character's interactions and dialogue. Have you resolved issues between them too soon? Remember, the deepest conflict can't be resolved until the black moment occurs.

If it's only a misunderstanding keeping them apart, that can't be sustained.

But if it is a true conflict, say the hero's son died in a police shootout and the attractive woman he just met turns out to be an undercover cop who's former partner was the shooter, then we have some serious conflict.

The progression of building trust and finding forgiveness in that situation might take a book and a half.

Real confict keeps your middle from sagging. Think of it as your writer's girdle.

Reese Mobley said...

Jocelyn, I agree with what Roxann and Pat said about plotting. And, lucky you, if you're aware your middle is sagging, then you're ahead of the game. You can fix it by adding more conflict, weaving in a subplot or two or just by throwing your hero and heroine together more and creating the most impossible situations and then make it worse for them. Good luck, I'm sure you can do it!