Monday, March 28, 2011
What's on the Page?
I’ve hit the halfway point on my WIP and while I don’t usually have a problem with saggy middles--that malady where a writer finds the story has slowed and grown boring before the exciting black moment and resolution--I’ve found myself in a quandary.
My hero and heroine just had their first “interlude”(nice for love scene). And now I have eight days before another significant historically accurate event, but I don't want to 1) fill it with fluff or 2) have the hero and heroine do anything that really moves the story froward.
the forward motion of this story is based on the historical elements and the hero and heroine's growth both romantically and in themselves. To keep the story moving forward there are the moments like this when I have to skip over a segment of time and yet not write it in such away that the reader feels like they’re being told what happened rather than living it with the characters.
I could just say, “Eight days later, Sa-qan…” But that also leaves the reader wondering what has gone on between the hero and heroine in those eight days. So I need to let them know they have barely seen each other. So maybe, “The past eight days Sa-qan and Wade captured brief moments before duty separated them once more. And now Sa-qan…” Borrinnggg!
Or go deeper POV, “Sa-qan pulled her recollections from her last brief encounter with Wade to the two warriors below approaching the Whiteman’s settlement. The past eight days she and Wade had put duty before their own yearnings, knowing it was best for her people. The encounter between Joseph and the soldier he approached require her undivided attention.”
By keeping it deep POV it makes the transition feel less like author intrusion, shows the delay in time, and keeps the story from become boring or saggy.
As a writer do you suffer from saggy middles? How do you try to avoid them?
Readers can you think of book you read that the middle slowed and almost put you to sleep?