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June 05, 2015


Kathryn McKade

Great article, Kris! For me the hardest section of a novel is probably the middle. I know what's happening at the start, and I know more or less how things will end, but getting there… not always so clear. I've been reading up on story structure (I'm a fellow pantser - outlines give me hives) and I'll definitely add your tips to my notes.

As for the hardest part of the novel writing process, for me it's getting out of my own way long enough to actually write the darn thing. Some obstacles are easier to overcome than others… but I'm not giving up yet!

Kait Carson

Oh, I feel your pain. I am so glad I am not alone. For me too, it is the beginning. Even though I always have inciting incident front and center. I am guaranteed to stall on chapter 3 and on chapter 13 which is where my book starts moving into the middle, which I love to write, and the end, which does prewrite itself. The first official act of my first rewrite is to get rid of usually the first two chapters! I need to write them for me, not the story.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

The middle! SO here's how I handle that. I write the beginning, and then the end of the beginning. Then I write the beginning of the end, and then the end of the end. So there's no middle!

And I am always SO happy when I get past page 36. Somehow, that;s a milestone.


Kathryn, while the middle isn't my hardest part, I feel my way through middles, too, so I do understand where you're coming from. But it sure feels good when you get past your hardest part, right?


Kait, I've had to get rid of my first opening, too. But I figure that's fine if it gets you to where you need to go. I'm glad I'm not the only one who suffers openings.


Hank, you are so inventive! Since your books are great, it clearly works!

Kathryn McKade

It sure does, Kris! It's definitely a relief when things start pulling together in the last third.

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