fiction / novels / writing

Middle Muddle

As usual, the middle of my story is bloated up with air and foam. I wave an arm through it, can’t see my own hand. This always happens with me. I think I need to go to a plot workshop. You know, come to think of it, I once did go to a plot workshop, sort of. A job I once had sent some of its editorial staff to Robert McKee’s Story Seminar, and I was one of the lucky ones to go for free. Because it was mandatory, and because the seminar was so very long, and the seats in the lecture hall were so hard, I recall some hours of lying prone on the floor, wondering if all the information would somehow seep into my head if I stopped writing it down. Not so. I also remember watching the longest-ever viewing of Casablanca, which Robert McKee shows scene by scene, stopping every few minutes to discuss.

Conclusions? First off, I have determined that I never should have quit that job. Second, maybe I should skip ahead and write Act III?

4 thoughts on “Middle Muddle

  1. dude–check out the Plot Whisperer (…Martha (the Plot Whisperer) offers one on one plot consultations–it helped me and a handful of my friends get through the middle of their novels.

    for one, it was so luxurious to just talk about my novel for like an hour straight to someone who was genuinely interested (once you do that you realize it is RARE that a writer gets to just talk about her work exclusively for an hour)…and then you get this plot graph from Martha in the mail afterwards! Orrr–you can buy her book, too, which is helpful: blockbuster plots (

    ok–now that I have cut and pasted two urls in this comment, it’ll probably end up in the spam folder!

  2. The middle is so strange, yes, and “bloat” sure is the right word. How the hell is this supposed to be done?? Grr. It’s a good idea to start the beginning of Act III—this might trigger some solutions for Gas-ex-ing the middle. I did this the other day, actually, and it’s magically helped me see the drive of the narrative. I don’t know the ending yet, but I do know a little more of what needs to be done to the blasted, bloated middle.

  3. punch it in the gut! It will deflate with a huge slobbery sigh- like hitting a 10 pound lump of dough!


    I’m hungry and I just want to punch something.

  4. I cannot believe you are actually there, in the middle of this novel. That’s a LOT of novel to have written! I say skip ahead — it sounds like fun.

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