Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What to do when a book bogs down---Spanx for those sagging middles...

You're working on your book. You have an exciting beginning and the perfect ending....but what about that middle part, that just seems to sag?
GirdleHere are some tips for Spanxing that sprawling middle:
Paper* Accept the fact that your "book" is actually a short story, and cut out the middle.
Alien* Add a subplot, such as an alien love story in the middle of your western/thriller.
Haunted mansion* Change the scene – move the story to a haunted house or the circus.
People* Explore what the protagonist really wants– to save the world or just increase her Facebook numbers.
Drink* Add a new problem, such as sudden onset alcoholism or a sex change.
Yosemite* Make things even more complicated, such as the protagonist is being chased, shot at, called names, publically embarrassed, and her mother-in-law is coming to live with her.
Mother in law* Kill off a minor character, such as the mother-in-law.
Swordfight* Add another love interest, then have the two love interests vie for the protagonist until things escalate into a swordfight.
Garfield crazy* Foreshadow a future problem by using phrases like: “And then it got super bad…” or “Just wait until the next chapter when things got crazy.”
Sleep* Add a flashback about some mysterious circumstance, such as a suppressed memory of a bad date or a recurring dream about a posting on Pinterest.
Clock* Start “the ticking clock”—place a bomb somewhere but only tell the reader, not the protagonist.
Arnold* Reveal something the main character has kept hidden, such as her affair with Arnold Schwarzeneggar or her secret compulsion to steal clothes from Neiman Marcus.
Book-thick* Include a long back story to pad the middle and meet your word count.
Hunger games* Turn the book into a trilogy.

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