Kayla Hicks - Author Kayla Hicks - Author

Why The Middle of a Book Is Important

4 min read

Without the middle of the book, would there be a story at all?

With each book project I work on, I find that the beginning and end are my strongest portions of the book, yet my middle always feels as if it sags.

For instance, in the beginning, the idea is fresh in your mind, and ready to go. And at some point along the way, you find that the end figures itself out, or the characters figure it out for you. However, the middle of the story always eludes me.

So, since this happens to me nearly every time I work on a new story, I decided to figure out why the middle is so important.

When we think of a story, we first think about the arch of the story, from the beginning, middle, and end.

From the very first introduction of your world to the reader to the end of the story where loose ties are seemingly resolved, none of it would matter without the middle of the story.

The middle is where the meat of the story is, not the filling. Why is this? Because the middle is where the emotional tolls of decisions take place and characters evolve in front of the reader's eyes.

Yet, even with this all said, many writers struggle with the middle of the story because it feels as if there is no clear route to follow at first.

In the beginning, the route is clear-cut.

The characters are introduced. The problem/turbulence/ plot is introduced. And it’s evident where the natural progression of the story is going.

And once we reach the middle, the author then must discover how to proceed and breathe more life into these characters.

This is where mapping and outlining can help the author.

When authors are trying to form a solid middle of the story, they commonly choose one of two paths.

  1. A flat middle: The consequence of trying to save the big moments for the end, the writer will provide the characters with small trials and disagreements which causes the middle to fall flat. Which can lose the reader's interest.

  2. A messy middle: When the author has enough interesting content and ideas to create an entertaining middle but lacks a clear idea of how to make them flow nicely. Which can also lose the reader’s interest.

In order to avoid running down one of these paths, the best way is to outline the middle of your story.

Not only does this method allow you to see the various avenues you can take for the characters, but you can show it to others for their opinion. Doing this also saves time editing and rewriting later when the book is finished, delaying your book's release date.

If after outlining the middle of your story, you realize you don’t have the content to create what you need for a fulfilling middle, that just means you need to create some.

Some great ways to do this are to:

  • Reread the beginning of your story

  • Map out the character's storylines with the possibility of branch-offs

  • Take a break and come back to it

  • If you have an idea of the ending, consider what would naturally progress your story to that point

According to NowNovel.com, here are some tips to help you improve the middle of your story: How to Write the Middle of a Story: 9 Tips.

Most writers struggle with the middle of their story, the main thing to remember is that a good story takes time.

You may run into obstacles or need to rewrite a whole new portion of your story, but in the end, it will all work out. Just keep planning, and getting feedback from others, and you will do just fine.