Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Muggy Middles

We all know that a good short story needs a gripping opening to engage the reader and encourage them to read on. They also need a satisfying ending that either makes the reader say, "Ah, yes. That's true." Or, in the case of a twist ending - "Blimey! I never saw that coming, but of course it had to be that!" And have them looking back through the story to see that the clues were there all along

If you've got the fantastic opening and the fabulous ending you're 3/4 of the way to writing a good, publishable short story. But what about the middle? Oh dear, the middle. This is where a lot of short stories suffer miserably - some of my own included. What can you do to sort them out?

One good way of looking at the structure of your story is to realise that,  quite often, the end of your story is already there in what you have written in the lead up to it. But this might not be so easily found if your middle has stalled. How do you get your story out of this rut?

* Go back to the beginning and ask yourself what is your story actually about and does the middle carry this theme on?

* You know where your character began in their conflict and you know where they need to get to  resolve it - so stop and think of all the possible scenarios you can that will lead your character to that resolution. Jot them down and pick one that fits - the more imaginative, entertaining but realistic the better.

* Read some short stories that you like and that have been published in the same magazine you want to target and see how the authors have carried the story through.

You've worked very hard on your engaging beginning and have a wonderfully satisfying ending, so don't let your insipid, neither here or there middle let your story down. The middle needs to be as equally strong as the rest of your story in order to maintain the readers' interest. If it doesn't - the reader might well give up and read another author's story instead. That's if you're weak middle story makes it the editor in the first place. So make your middle well toned and strong.

Happy middle writing!

Julie xx

No comments: