Happy Monday, All! Today author and blogger Stephanie Faris is taking over here at Quanie Talks Writing and talking about something that we writers sometimes dread: that murky middle! Stephanie is sharing some awesome tips in case you find yourself in the murky middle without a paddle (or boat!). She’s also sharing the cover for the latest book in her Piper Morgan series, Piper Morgan To The Rescue. Isn’t that cover just too darn cute??? Feel free to add the book to your Goodreads shelf and connect with Stephanie online (links below).
“The Murky Middle.” Strange name for it, isn’t it? I remember first hearing the term back in the 90s, as part of a Romance Writers of America workshop. I was so excited to finally hear someone else say what I’d been thinking since the day I wrote my first novel: the middle is the hardest part.
Some of you may disagree. For you, the hardest part is the beginning, when you’re staring at a blank page with a blinking cursor that seems to be taunting you. Some find the ending the most difficult, when it’s time to tie up every loose end and bring everything to a satisfying conclusion. For me, though, I don’t truly begin to think about abandoning my novel until at least Chapter Six. If I can push through that and get to the big dark moment three-fourths of the way through, I’m usually home free.
If you’ve found yourself getting stuck midway through your novel, it could be because you fly by the seat of your pants like me. I’ve spoken to plotters who never quite experience the murky middle. Even if they do, they have a handy-dandy carefully-plotted outline to consult. For non-plotters like me, the midway point is tough because we have to make serious decisions while we’re writing.
Even though I’m not a planner, I’ve found it helps to stop and write a synopsis midway through. I give myself permission to change the direction of the story if necessary, but at least I get my overall plot on paper. This can often help me past that point of the book where I’m ready to abandon the entire project and start on something new. If a synopsis seems too formal, grab a piece of paper and draw the character arc. Where is your main character at the beginning of the book? What does she need to go through to be where she is at the end of the book?
Writing a book is a huge accomplishment. Sometimes we take that for granted. But if you’re like me, midway through you realize exactly how difficult it is. Hopefully these tips will help the next time you get stuck!
Piper helps some four-legged friends find the perfect home in the third book of the brand-new Piper Morgan series.
Piper is super excited to help out at Bark Street, a local animal shelter in town. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by adorable puppies and dogs all day? And when Piper sees Taffy, the cutest dog she has ever seen, Piper is determined to find a way to bring Taffy home. But it won’t be easy—especially when she finds out someone else wants to make Taffy a part of their family, too!
Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.
Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, as well as the upcoming Piper Morgan series. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive.