A few suggestions to continue writing the novel, if you get stumped at midpoint .
| The eager writer starts his novel with excitement, since in the beginning, he thinks he has come up with everything; everything that is the setting, the characters, and the main points of the plot. Then, he reaches the middle of the plot and finds his characters behaving independently of him, while the blank page or the computer screen calls to him. Yet, he has nothing worthwhile to type, unless he has a highly detailed outline. |
It takes a very organized writer to make a detailed outline, and most novelists, aside from being not too organized, seek adventure through their writing by leaving their endings to the will of their characters and wishing that the characters lead them to an exciting or at least a negotiable ending. Even when a writer has an inkling of the ending, the middle of the novel may drain his pen.
One way to fight the mid-novel blues is to go back to the characters and ask: What are the hidden or untold traits in these characters that may add to the story? When the answer to that question is found, several episodes can be written based on the newly found traits and these episodes can be linked to the ending.
If this doesn't work, another way is to get the main character in deeper trouble, which may or may not be related to the main conflict. For example, a main character mulls over the main conflict while doing something dangerous like driving a truck or taming a wild animal and gets into an accident. Later, other related complications occur as the result of his lapse of attention due to his main-conflict worries. This way, even if the trouble is unrelated, ways to tie it to the main conflict and to the ending will surface. In short, for the sake of tension, being very cruel to the protagonist works well for the writer, especially around the middle of the novel.
A third way is to develop the subplots and insert the main character in them; that is, subplots that involve secondary characters who have a significant influence on the conflict, the protagonist, or the story arc.
Other functional ways to get out of a rut, whether to stay connected with the story or progress toward the ending, are:
1. Sending the characters on a trip, to the zoo, to a rock concert, to the Antarctic, or wherever the writer wishes and letting the events of the trip lead to more scenes and episodes.
2 Giving an ally or a relative of the main character a few problems, or better yet, giving the villain some new powers.
3. Going back to the last chapter where the plot came to a halt and ending it with a dramatic incident. Here, either the character hits rock bottom or believes he has found the way, maybe a false way, to victory. This may lead to other chapters and related episodes to enrich the conflict and form a link the ending
The goal is not to get stuck and not stop in the middle of a novel, but to continue on with the thought that, during the revision process, what is unrelated will be removed anyhow.