Sunday, April 13, 2014

M is for Middles

Sometimes the middle of the first draft of a novel can be too long. I've recently had to have a good rewrite of my children's book. Here are a few tips to review the middle of your work.

1. Characters. Do you have more than one character serving the same purpose or are too similiar? If so, can you cut them or combine them? If you have a minor character that isn't adding anything to the storyline, could you use them in another piece of work? Does your lead character have to many characters helping them?
2. Do the same thing with the subplots. Does the subplot add to your novel or distract the reader?
3. Look at the scenes individually. Are they dull? Are they too long? Is there too much dialogue or description? 

Be ruthless. Remember the aim is to get a leaner and meaner final draft!


  1. Having just finished a book with a HUGE number of subplots I would agree. Too many is distracting. In my case nearly fatally so.

  2. It's tough cutting characters and plots, but I do as I go sometimes as well - I always ask if what is happening in the scene is adding to the story. Stuff still gets through, though and my editors have told me to cut stuff. I've also modified characters because they didn't feel right, or I needed an extra dimension in the story that they could add.
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

  3. Your comment about characters really hit home. I remember the first time I realized that I had to "let someone go" because they just weren't necessary, but I had grown attached and felt like I was firing them. It does make for a leaner read. Thanks for the confirmation!

  4. I have two characters I need to conflate in a work in progress! It IS important to make a leaner manuscript. All sage advice.

    Dropping back from the A-Z.