The Middle, By Maria V. Snyder

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One of the hardest things with writing is finishing a story. The beginning is always so exciting, but the middle can be hard to write through until the end.

When I start a story, I have an idea of where it will end. For Poison Study, I knew Yelena would earn her freedom and go south to learn about her magic. In the beginning, once she's out of the dungeon and working as a food taster I needed to figure out what obstacles get in the way of her goal. Obstacles for Yelena were Butterfly's dust, Valek, General Brazell, Reyad's ghost, her wild magic, and her memories of Reyad's experiments, Rand, Criollo, Nix, Mogkan, and the Southern Magician. Yes - there was a lot of things getting in the way of her goal of freedom and as she deals with each one the story progresses. The obstacles should be like a roller coaster ride. Each hill getting bigger and bigger and each dip dropping deeper until the huge hill at the end (the climax of the story - the ultimate obstacle to conquer).

You might want to find the book, Beginnings, Middles & Ends, by Nancy Kress - it's a good book to help you keep writing after the beginning.

Another problem with the middle is losing interest in the story. This happens to me from time to time. I'll be in the middle of the book and be bored with the story. What I do is dangle a carrot - I tell myself - get through this scene and you can write that exciting scene where Valek arrives (this helped me with Magic Study). Or get through this chapter and I’ll treat myself to a movie tonight. Writing through the middle is hard and is the downfall of many would-be writers :)

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