Writing Excuses 10.30: Q&A on Middles, with Marie Brennan
Marie Brennan joins us again, this time to help us field your questions about middles. Here are the questions we collected from the various social media feeds:
- How do you maintain interest without having something explode every other chapter?
- In short fiction, how do you prevent try-fail cycles from bloating the story?
- How do you prevent the introduction of POVs during the middle of the story from being jarring?
- How do you keep subplots from turning into side quests?
- In longer stories, how important are “breather” chapters that ease the tension?
- Do you have methods for weaving plot and subplot threads together? Do you outline this, or keep it in your head?
Fifty-Cent Word: Proprioception, which serves as an excellent metaphor for what expertise with a set of tools feels like. Thank you, Marie, for simplifying the whole “the tool should be an extension of your hand” thing.
Homework: Murder the Middle Darling: Remove an element (subplot, side character, location) from the middle of your story, and see how that changes the pacing of your story.
Thing of the week: The Summer Prince, by Alaya Dawn Johnson, narrated by Rebecca Mozo and Lincoln Hoppe.
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