A powerful secret and a fresh approach to writing bestselling fiction What's the best way to write a "next level" novel? Some writers start at the beginning and let the story unfold without a plan. They are called "pantsers," because they write by the "seat of the pants."Other writers plan and outline and know the ending before they start. These are the "plotters."The two sides never seem to agree with each other on the best approach.But what if it's not the beginning or the end that is the key to a successful book? What if, amazing as it may seem, the place to begin writing your novel is in the very middle of the story?According to #1 bestselling writing teacher James Scott Bell, that's exactly where you'll find your story's heart and heat. Bell's "Mirror Moment" is the secret, and its power is available to any writer, at any stage of the writing process.Bringing together years of craft study and personal discovery, Bell presents a truly unique approach to writing a novel, one that will stand the test of time and serve you all your writing life."I need three things before I tackle a new novel: Diet Coke, a laptop, and my dog-eared copies of James Scott Bell's books on writing craft " - Kami Garcia, #1 NYT Times & International Bestselling author
Writing from the Middle helps you examine the 'turning point' that will get you from that first blush of a new story to your epic ending and re-invigorate that sorry, sagging middle of your bridge. While a short book with a few extraneous tutorials at the end to make it worth the $2.99, if you've ever gotten bogged down in a dumpy middle, this book is what you need.
This short (85 pages) craft book turned out to be worth buying despite its brevity, because (apart from some cutesy stuff at the beginning about Pam Pantser, Paul Plotter and so on—why do people DO that?—James Scott Bell does a pretty good job of getting across his instruction points without the ego-boosting and meandering that so many writing gurus employ. He focuses on the realization that the mid-point of a story contains a moment where the main character has to face himself or herself, and provides a simple structure for incorporating that mid-point moment into your novel. He uses several familiar examples, including Gone With The Wind (which has an extremely memorable mid-point right before the intermission in the movie), and explains how to incorporate the mid-point into an outline (I rather liked his outline, which was a bit different from most).
In the last thirty or so pages, Bell shows you how to apply his simplified structure to story ideas and then leads into some general remarks on craft which are kind of filler but he didn’t over-elaborate so I was OK with them. I wouldn’t call this book earth-shattering or particularly memorable, but the notion that a great story has a mid-point is worth considering and if the price of the Kindle version continues low I’d recommend this as a no-brainer buy for writers looking for solid craft ideas.
At the end I stopped to outline the book for future reference, something I've done with only a few other books on writing.