Okay, last week we talked about beginnings. So now we're going to talk about bananas.
Ha ha! Just kidding! On to MIDDLES!.
I'm currently slogging through the middle of the middle of Book #2 right now. It's like the scene in the swamp on The Princess Bride, except without the killer rats. Because that would be super cool. (Except that they didn't have killer rats in ancient Egypt.)
According to James Bell Scott, author of Plot and Structure, the middle of a novel is the confrontation. He says the middle should:
1. Deepen character relationships.
2. Keep us caring about what happens.
3. Set up the final battle that will wrap things up in the end.
This can be done by weaving together subplots and setting up battles between the protagonist and antagonist. I think my problem with middles is that I always know the beginning and end of the story, but I'm not sure how to connect those dots. So the middles of my first draft drag. I'm talking like I-Just-Ran-Two-Marathons-And-Now-You-Want-Me-To-Go-Hike-Up-A-Mountain Drag. (Not that I've ever experienced that, but whatever.)
So, what do you do to keep your middles snappy? Do you have to edit your middles a lot or are they the least of your troubles?