Chapter 20: The Middle

Monday, June 13, 2016

My first post like this was called The First Ten Chapters, and I basically said what I found interesting and engaging in a book and how I'm applying it to my own writing. Honestly, reading back over that post reminded me of things that I should be doing, and I actually found it helpful for myself, not going to lie haha.
I just started chapter twenty of my book, and it's been a long, weird journey in writing. At times (every sentence) I'll look at what I'm writing and just think "oh my gosh, this is awful and strange and no one is going to want to read this." Of course I keep writing though; I ain't no quitter. I have to just keep telling myself that I'm not doing this for other people, I'm doing it for myself, and it'd be great if people bought and enjoyed my book when it's finished, but I started this project because it's what I know I want to do with my life and it doesn't matter if people approve or not. For a while I took a break from writing because I kept thinking that my idea was horrible and I'd just look weird to everyone for 1. writing a book and 2. writing a weird fantasy book. But here I am, writing a weird blog post about my weird book. Hopefully someone can relate to this and I'm not just... weird.
For me, chapter twenty is roughly the middle of my book because I'm going to have just over thirty chapters, but that's not the case for everyone, it could be the end of or even the beginning of your book depending on how many and how long your chapters are.
The beginning was exciting, I was finally implementing my idea and making it real. I was introducing my characters and making the reader fall in love with them (or hate them). I was building connections, and forming plot twists, and building their world for them to explore. Now the world is built, the characters have been established, and idea has been implemented. However, this is the climax, the meat of the story (for my fellow vegetarians, the tofu). This is where the plot begins to twist. The characters are climbing to the top of the mountain that is your plot, and are preparing to tumble all the way to the bottom, the resolution and ending. They just need that pull up to the top and the shove to get them over the edge.
To me, this part of my book is so much easier to write and a lot more fun. I'm comfortable with my writing style and my story, my characters are developing, my villain is coming more into play, the entire world is pretty much destroyed and it feels great. So much destruction and chaos and it's really a great stress-relief.
In your book, the middle, whether that's chapter 20 or chapter 40, should either be the climax or be nearing the climax. For me, it's nearing the climax. My characters just reached a pretty low point, and now they're climbing a mountain, literally and metaphorically, and then when they reach what they spent the whole book trying to accomplish, I'm going to smash them to pieces. I will probably cry while doing this because my characters are my babies.If you feel like you can't do that to your characters because you love them too much, then you absolutely have to, and you have to make it 10 times worse. That's when you'll have your readers emotionally invested because hopefully they'll love your characters too and will be devastated because they're favorite character almost died- twice.
If you're writing a fantasy/adventure book like me, then odds are, the middle of your book will be all about death, destruction, and more death. It just has to be done. And it may be really sad, but it's also incredibly fun; people may think you're insane if you're pounding away at your keyboard manically laughing over a slaughtering of characters, but it's all part of the writing process.
Also, as I mentioned in my other blog post, there needs to be the "NO WAY! SHUT UP!" moment that you created through your connections. It doesn't have to happen yet, unless that's how you're plot goes, but you better be cooking up a really good one right now that'll leave your readers stunned.
I don't know if this really helped anyone, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway! I wish you luck on your writing journey and your main character's tragic almost-death.

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  1. […] posts in the past; one for when I first started, one when I finished the first ten chapters, and one when I finished the first twenty chapters. They were all informational/reflective posts that I hope […]