Writing Update

It’s been a few months since I’ve posted an update and lots of work has been done since then.  In the last update I had been struggling with making ends meet when I removed a redundant character and replaced him with someone more significant.   Not only did this require the addition of several scenes and the refocusing of many others, it also gave me a new lead character who I ended up liking so much that he has now become a major player in the story.

I’m now working through what I have heard described as the “murky middle.” One of the biggest problems with first books is that there is a great and ending but the middle tends to fall short.  Mine was no different and I’ve had to prune off several scenes that didn’t further the plot and add in those that did.  Hopefully my efforts don’t fall short here as there is nothing more frustrating than a book that you fall in love with at the beginning and then get bored with halfway through.

These last few weeks I’ve been working through a series of extremely emotionally charged scenes.  Tensions are high for everyone in the cast and the price of failure is catastrophic loss.  Nothing wrings me out more than working on these scenes.  I have to put myself in the character’s emotional state in order to capture those moments in writing.  At times it’s just too much to take and I have to stop and take a break.  At other times I can’t get into the right emotional state because there’s a two-year old attached to my face.

Editing  the last half of the book should move much quicker now that I’ve worked past the majority of the trouble spots and untangled the various plot snarls I caused the last time I made changes.  There are still a few spots that I know will be beastly to work through, namely the climax.  As it sits now it’s far too weak to make it worth all the drama it will take readers to get to it, and that’s a huge problem.  I’ll have to tackle that monster when I get to it.

I’ve got only one more week before the older kids are out of school and then it’s going to get a lot tougher to sit down and work.  I’m hoping that we can find a routine that will allow me regular chunks of time to write.

Wish me luck!



About Jodi

Jodi L. Milner is a writer, mandala enthusiast, and educator. Her epic fantasy novel, Stonebearer’s Betrayal, was published in November 2018 and rereleased in Jan 2020. She has been published in several anthologies. When not writing, she can be found folding children and feeding the laundry, occasionally in that order.
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7 Responses to Writing Update

  1. writing with kids can be hard. I had a similar character change not too long ago. I added a minor supporting role who I just fell in love with. Now he’s a major supporting role. I’ve had a lot of dramatic character changes. I took two characters and put them together to make one; I made two male characters women; and I wrote out my leading lady. Talk about major structural revision. Good luck with your project.

  2. ericjbaker says:

    It sounds like you have a good handle on what is working and what isn’t. Good luck the rest of the way, I look forward to reading it eventually.

  3. It’s a journey for sure. I’ve had the same problem with middles, but I’ve gotten better. I try to do as you say…Does the scene move the plot forward? If not cut it. I also save everything in case those cut pieces need to be revived.

    • Jodi says:

      I think Stephen King talks about killing your darlings, meaning that sometimes it’s for the best that not all scenes end up in a finished work. It’s hard sometimes, especially when there is good stuff in there. I have a cuttings folder that currently holds over 20,000 words of hacked off scene chunks from this project.

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