Filling in the Middle

I’m at the point in my story where things are slowing down. The middle of a book can be the hardest part to write. You have to keep the reader’s attention and move the story along, but you also have to be careful not to blow the ending prematurely.

Despite my issues with false starts and self-doubts about the path I have chosen in the beginning, overall it was pretty easy. I knew where my characters needed to be in order to get their super powers, as well as being introduced to the serial killer. But now I’m past that, and I have to fill in all the things that they need to do and experience before they can catch the villain.

My little group of kids has discovered their powers, so now I need them to learn how to use them. I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to do this. Probably with a mix of scenes involving other kids in the camp. Some of the situations may be set up by the bad guy as he tries to kill them without giving himself away. In case you are interested, here are the powers I have chosen for the kids:

  • Carter (boy with a temper): strength, invulnerability, water breathing
  • Andy (borderline sociopath): intelligence, prophecy, energy blasts
  • Cailin (kleptomaniac girl): telekinesis, agility/reflexes, speed
  • Lisa (girl with reputation as a slut): shapeshifter, regeneration, telepathy

The villain has powers too. They are: memory manipulation, illusion (including invisibility), energy drain

I decided each of them should have three powers. No real reason why, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. I may adjust this as I write. So far, the powers that have been revealed are Carter’s strength, Cailin’s telekinesis and speed, Andy’s intelligence, Lisa’s regeneration, and the killer’s illusions. I may change Cailin’s reflexes, because her speed power would cover that as well, and I don’t want a duplication. The memory manipulation may also go, just because that would make it too easy for the killer to get away with murder, and too hard for the kids to keep up with him if he keeps wiping their brains.

So now I need to present these powers in a way that lets the kids learn how to use them without revealing themselves as freaks to the rest of the camp. At least, not until the end. The killer will also need to find out about their powers at some point, so he can plan something that would let him take them out despite their advantages.

As far as the powers go, I also think that I may have pushed them too hard, too fast. I gave away too much, too soon, and now I think in my editing phase I will want to pull them back and only hint at their powers in that scene. That will let me reveal them in their full strength later on, and make it more of a slow buildup. That should give the story a little more tension. And tension is good!

The other thing that I am struggling with is the personality of the kids. When I started plotting it out, I thought it would be best if they were ten or eleven years old. During the outlining process, I changed that to thirteen and fourteen. But now as I write it, they seem to me to be more like fifteen or sixteen. This is being shown by the budding romances between the kids. I didn’t intend to have much in the way of romantic developments here, but it seems to be coming out anyway, especially between Andy and Lisa. I’m not sure what to do about this. Should I just let it go and let the story be what it wants to be, or should I nip it in the bud and tell them to cool their jets?

On a positive note, I have over 18,000 words now, and should have no problem hitting 20,000 by the end of the month. I have been posting my daily totals on the Word Count image on the side of my blog, so you can see for yourself where I am on any given day. I’m still not sure what the end total will be, but I am still hoping to finish the book at around 60,000 words by the end of September.

I hope everybody else is keeping their word count up! See you in a few days!



Filed under ROW80, The Writing Experience

3 responses to “Filling in the Middle

  1. Sounds like the wip is coming along nicely. Keep it up! 🙂

  2. Nice work! Maybe adding some scenes developing personalities and interactions of the kids earlier in the book will help with the pacing on the powers side of things. It may also give you new ideas of things you want to develop in the middle section. Good luck, I hope you have a great week!

  3. It sounds like you have some good ideas about how to manage the “yucky middle” that all of us seem to have to battle in our works.

    As for letting the characters have their romantic involvements, I would let them have their way in the first draft. You can always pull them back from the brink in the editing.

    Keep on plugging through the middle, and have a wonderful week.

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