How do I get the middle bit – by Karen Fainges

My beautiful daughter is starting to try her hand at writing and, unbiased as I am, she’s not bad. There is one question though that is going to cause me to smother her with a pillow if she asks it again. “How come I can come up with great ideas but can’t work out the middle bit?”

I have to admit, it is a question I have often asked myself. I can see the start and the end, but not always how the characters get from one place to the other. I have tried various tools over the years to filling the blanks:

  • doing up a timeline and trying to list the main steps on the journey,
  • going through the questions who, what, when, why,
  • picturing the picture in my head and trying to run through the scene like a movie,
  • asking what is the absolute worse thing I can do to the characters, the list goes on.

Still, sometimes there is no way to do it but to sit down and write anything that comes into your head, even if it is just the word elephant over and over again. Somehow, the mere act of sitting down and getting started gives the subconscious a kick in the pants. It starts thinking, “Oh I better come up with something, she’s serious this time.”

I always find editing easier than writing, so getting anything on the page lets me kick over to that editing mode.


2 responses to “How do I get the middle bit – by Karen Fainges

  1. I had this problem too, I solved it by not thinking of the book as a whole book, but as a series of linked short stories, so there was a series of points to get the characters to, and not just one end to aim for. It did actually work.


  2. That’s great , I am going to try it.

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