by Canda Mortensen
I visited my fave donut shop last week and ordered my usual: chocolate, cream filled donut. I took a bite on the end--no cream. Maybe it's a little further in--took another bite--no cream. Maybe it's on the other side--no cream.
What I found out is that there was less than a teaspoon of pastry cream piped into
my donut; I felt ripped off.
But it made me think about writing a novel. The middles are hard for me to keep the pacing and action high. During my revisions, I find myself working mostly on the middle while the beginning and end only need a little work.
In our current novel, Deanna and I had to remove the entire middle of the story. That was painful but necessary. Nothing really happened and we took 25,000 words to talk about it. Now during the rewrite we are paying more attention to the conflict between the characters that creates tension and increasing the stakes.
I wonder if we have to get to know our characters better by writing the first draft before we understand what will be in conflict between everyone to improve it in the second draft.