Wednesday 19 July 2017

How's Your MIDDLE?

By Rita Stella Galieh

Well, forget your particular middle, (unless it really needs attention,) I'm referring to the middle of your novel.

Many of us find the beginnings and endings are not too much trouble, but those troublesome parts in the middle can cause us some major problems.

Are we padding it out too much? Making it sluggish? Stretching out superfluous dialogue?
Overly long descriptions? And all to get a word count? Oh dear. That's enough to make your reader start 'ho-humming'. Worse still, pitch it aside.

Gotta confess I almost did that to the last novel by a well known author. I didn't care about a multitude of details she added just when I wanted to know what was happening between the main characters. Could it be she hoped for suspense? It didn't work as I simply felt annoyed. She did redeem herself with a great ending, but even good authors struggle with their overweight middles it seems.

This is what I am struggling with at the moment. I'm inclined toward more action where my characters have a hard time and their goals seem unattainable.

Easy to say...but difficult to fix. Actually I have come to a grinding halt, waiting for my characters to give me a clue. However, I think I'll just keep writing as it's a first draft and see what eventuates. Staring at my middle without feeding it with good words can cause starvation and eventually its demise.

Currently Rita co-presents a 5 min. Christian radio program with her husband, George. ‘Vantage Point’ is broadcast Australia-wide on local FM stations.
She has written six inspirational historical novels & contributed to several US anthologies. She belongs to writers’ organizations such as: Australasian Christian Writers, Christian Writers Down Under, International Christian Fiction Writers and Omega Writers. Besides her blog, she can be found on Facebook and

Do any of you writers out there experience similar difficulties with your middles? If so, how do you fix your problem? Take a break or turn to chocolate?


  1. Hi Rita, you're quite right, our middles definitely need attention too :) I've come across seminars and courses focusing on beginnings and ends, which are most important of course, but middles are a work of art too. I do hope you'll figure out your middle ok :)

    1. Thanks Paula. I think I'm about ready to jump into my M/S again after much 'chewing the cud'.

  2. My middles are often boggy, sad to say. I will work on that. Thanks, Rita. Good post. I've been aware of it but .. .

  3. Yes, Jeanette, they don't always fall into line but they're so important just to keep the reader reading!!


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