16.41: Middles and Conflicts with M.I.C.E. Structure

Your Hosts: Dan Wells, C.L. PolkCharlotte Forfieh, and Mary Robinette Kowal

With the M.I.C.E. elements (Milieu, Inquiry, Character, and Event) explained, and the concept of nesting, or braiding the M.I.C.E. threads, we’re ready to dive into that most difficult part of the story: the middle.

Enough of us dread (or at least struggle with) middle-of-story writing that the promise of a structural tool to make it easier is kind of glorious. Our seventh  installment in M.I.C.E. Quotient discussions talks about how to use M.I.C.E. elements to inform try-fail cycles, ask/answer sequences, and conflicts in general.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson


Examine the conflicts in the middle of your fairy-tale project (the same one you’ve used for the last six episodes of homework.) Ask yourself if those are the conflicts you want to engage with. If they are, add a try-fail cycle that fits the MICE elements you’ve employed so far.

Rainbringer, by Adam Berg

3 thoughts on “16.41: Middles and Conflicts with M.I.C.E. Structure”

  1. Wow, this episode was fantastic. Just what I needed this week-month-year. Probably even decade. Thank you.

  2. This week, Dan, C.L., Charlotte, and Mary Robinette dug into the middle of the story, and the conflicts, try-fail cycles, and other wonders that one might use there with the M.I.C.E. Quotient. Unpredictability! Yes-but, or no-and? Tightening up the saggy middle! What is the middle all about? Plenty of interesting discussion that you can read about in the transcript available now in the archives.

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