I am nearing the halfway mark of my latest work in progress and while for some writers that will be something to celebrate, for me it is the opposite. Why? Because it means the dreaded ‘sagging middle’ is right around the corner. Thus bringing my writing/plotting/creativity to a grinding halt and causing me to bang my head up and down on my desk all day, every day until I see light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
Now most of you would have heard of this ‘sagging middle’ phrase and know what it means, others won’t. Let me explain.
It is the part of my story writing that I hate the most and occurs every single time, with every single book. I am a blend of two kinds of writer. I am half plotter and half pantser. I always have a two to three page synopsis written as well as character sketches for my hero and heroine before I start writing. However, from page one to the end I continually write the first draft without stopping or editing. The hard work comes in drafts two and three.
The problem is no matter how much detail I feel I’ve put into the synopsis, no matter how much I have written it with my ‘sagging middle’ weakness in mind, there it always is. Bam, like a grinning little cartoon devil poised to poke me in the behind with his shiny trident as soon as I am about halfway through.
So the question is, how do I deal with it? The only way I know how. Keep writing. I dread going to my desk for these days. Have zero enthusiasm or belief in myself or my work. I sit my backside in the chair anyway. These days writing is like pulling teeth but I force myself to write at least a thousand rubbish words a day. The beauty of it is when I feel the sun reappearing as I climb out of the middle and start heading for the home run, I read back what I wrote through those torturous days and I can be guaranteed to keep at least half of it. Result!
So what about you writers out there? Do you suffer with the same weakness as me? Yes? What’s your trick for beating this particular devil?
Or are you a reader? Have you noticed a ‘sagging middle’ in books? Maybe you see them more often than editors do, lol! I love to hear from you.
Rachel’s latest release is “Hot Summer Sands” available now from The Wild Rose Press. Here’s the blurb and an excerpt:
Chef Michelle Hutton flees her controlling mother in the UK for the sun and freedom of Greece, longing for a new beginning and maybe just a bit of Zante’s local heat. Sexy, pro-bono lawyer Sam Clarke might just be the one to teach her to let go. He’s sexy, capable, and totally in control. And too damn hard to resist.
Sam Clarke and his best friend had once been the baddest boys to hit the local party scene— sex, booze, and more sex—until his friend is killed. Sam turned his back on the blatant sexuality of the island years ago, but can’t resist Michelle’s desire to bask in the sun and explore the need that grows between them.
Closer and closer he came, rounding the counter and standing so close to her that Michelle was forced to tip her head back to meet his eyes. The smell of him – warm, musky and clean–wafted under her nose. She inhaled…and really wished she hadn’t as her knees quivered. She took another step back until her ass hit the steel countertop behind her.
His gaze darted over her face, lingering at her lips. Michelle put a hand on his chest without thinking and then whipped it back to grip the counter.
Trepidation mixed with arousal pooled like liquid in her stomach. “Sam, talk to me. What’s wrong?”
His eyes dropped to her chest and unmistakable lust flared in eyes, darkening them to a gorgeous midnight blue. Desire pulled at her core and her nipples tightened.
He met her eyes. “Everything.”
She was trapped by the raw animal need to have him. To feel his hands on her bare skin, his mouth on hers. She licked dry lips. “You look like you’re either going to attack me or–”
She flinched. The harsh expletive shocked and aroused her in equal measure. “What?”
His hands clamped onto her hips, possessive and unyielding. A feral storm raged in his dark blue gaze. “I need to know.”
She stared, unable to move or breathe. “Need to know what?”
“Need to know if this…these feelings…are just–”
“Lust?” The word slipped from her tongue, her mind blank of everything but Sam. The way he smelled, the lickable square line of his jaw. The yearning to have him on her, in her, over her.
Rachel can be found here: