No matter how hard you try, you can’t get enthusiastic about a particular chapter, or a transitional part of the plot and you’re making all sorts of excuses to yourself.
How on earth are you going to fire up the enthusiasm to tackle it?
Write from another character's point of view
Get out of your protagonist’s headspace for a while. Yes, I know you’d usually be accused of head-hopping, but bear with me.
By looking at your character’s story from a different person’s point of view, you’ll see traits and reactions you didn’t notice before.
Now, simply rewrite that scene from the original point of view. You'll be amazed at how effective this trick can be.
Write a scene, not a chapter
Ignore the plot - give your characters some 'wiggle' room
This one is working well for me at the moment. Between my second and third novels, I turned from a pantser into a plotter because I’d written myself into a corner once before and had to ditch a whole heap of words to get the story back on track.
The only problem is that on my latest project, I’ve been guilty of over-plotting. So much so, that my characters had nowhere to move. At the halfway mark (40,000 words into a 80,000 word novel), I’ve had a bit of an Etch-a-Sketch moment – I’ve still got the plot framework in place, but I’m letting the characters run with it for a bit, to see what happens.
In turn, I’ve got the fun back into the writing, and the words are flowing a lot faster.
Ask yourself "why?"
This is one of the most powerful tricks I’ve learned recently, and it comes from David Morrell’s book The Successful Novelist.
He advises doing this right at the beginning, before you’ve even made a start, but if you’re like me and prefer to go charging in when you’re all enthusiastic and panic about things later, then this is a great exercise for you.
Look at the scene you’re stuck on, and simply ask yourself “Why?”
By the time you’ve tried one or two of these tricks, you’ll be all fired up. If that doesn’t work, try this.
What techniques work for you when you're writing the middle section?
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