This week I will reach the midpoint of this manuscript. I just crossed 31,000 words and can see that moment coming closer with every sentence.
The midpoint is one of my favorite moments to plot out because — if done well — it creates the hinge that opens up the rest of the book to run wild.
The midpoint should do a few things:
- Raise the stakes by introducing a new conflict, taking a win and making it a loss, upping the drama of an existing conflict. Or any manner of ways that takes the main character who just got comfy in the playground of the story and kicks them off the jungle gym.
- Be at the middle. This sounds obvious but I have edited books where this moment was not in the right spot, though the instinct for this moment was there.
- Give the character an opportunity to change goals/question choices/generally reassess their unction in the story.
- Be a MOMENT akin to a climax but obviously one that cannot be resolved. The soggy middle exists when the midpoint is not a moment the reader recalls when retelling the story to our friends over Zoom cocktails.
- When in doubt, make the midpoint something that thwarts the main character’s goal in some crucial, but not utterly dire way.
Pray for me as I edge in on my midpoint. It’s a doozy.