I hope you’re all having a great spring! I am currently writing the final, yes, final scene in the next Achdus Club novel. I still don’t have a title for the book, I have an idea or two and will figure that out shortly, but first up are the revisions.
One of the big issues that I need to address this go-round and one that plagues many is the sagging middle -- that section where the story is building and building, yet not moving as quickly as either the early set-up chapters or the final chapters where things are coming together for the story’s climax. The middle is that section where, if you haven’t engaged the reader sufficiently, they will put down the book and may or may not come back. Finding ways to create mini-dramas in the middle, while still moving your story forward, and showing your characters growing and changing is vital if you want to keep your readers reading.
And thus my challenge over the next two weeks -- making sure there is enough real growth and drama, but not so much that it over the top unrealistic.
If the middle is the challenge, I am thrilled with how my finale turned out. I can’t quite put into words (I know funny right?) how excited I was as I wrote those last 25 to 30 pages. My fingers couldn’t hit the keyboard fast enough and my heart raced just a little bit as I rushed along with my characters to the very, very end.
As this is Ruthie’s story there are definitely challenges -- key among them what made her so mean in The New Girl and can she change? Will she? I hope that when readers get this book in their hands they’ll feel that the answers have been sufficiently and realistically answered.
For writers out there, do you have any tips for addressing the sagging middle?
And for the readers out there, have you ever put down a book in the middle and not gone back and to finish it?
Have a great day everyone!
Writer, Editor and Author of the Achdus Club novels for girls.