So over to Kate now....
Writing a romance novel seems simple when you set out. You start with a conflict and then write the scenes to get you from the beginning to the end until that Happy Ever After Ending. But if you’re not careful, you get partway – perhaps a long way – through – and what started out so well suddenly seems to have s-l-o-w-e-d down so badly. The edge has gone off your conflict, the excitement just isn’t there – even the spark of sexual attraction between your hero and heroine just seems to have faded away. You have that writer’s curse – a sagging middle. And you know that no editor, or reader is gong to want to plough through the slow section to get to the end. So what causes it and what can you do about it?
The 'sagging middle' is a problem that so many authors come up against - and I'm not just talking about the need for a programme like Weight Watchers. The big problem with writing is that almost anyone can 'set out hopefully into the mist' and write the beginning of a book. Most people can have a good idea about the ending- and with Romance well it's easy. There's that Happy Ever After ending that everyone knows is coming, so you don't really have any decisions to make about that.
|Donated to a University in FIJI through Kate's generosity.|
Kate also donated a box of her books to a library in Fiji.
What exactly is the function of the middle of the book? Some people like to think of the story as having 3 act structure – where the first ‘act’ is the set-up, introducing the characters, giving the conflict and the reasons for it, and the third ‘act’ is the denouement where the hero and heroine find out the truth, they see what has been causing the problems and find a resolution to those conflicts. Then they reveal their love for each other and move into a happy ending. The middle section is one of confrontation and complication – where the conflict gets worse, the emotional tension builds and the characters personal inner problems deepen.
- Develop the reasons for conflict, explaining them, healing some, possibly raising others – two steps forward, one back
- Show the growing relationship between the H&h - some ‘getting to know you time’ – some movement forward in understanding
- Maintain the tension by keeping good reasons why they don’t just leap into each other’s arms and live happily ever after
- Show some reasons WHY your H&h actually fall in love with each other – unrelieved dislike/arguing and mistrust is not a basis for the happy ever after ending you’re going to give them