Thursday, November 5, 2015

No More Sagging Middle

No More Sagging Middle
By Denise Hunter

It’s no secret to my writer friends that my least favorite part of writing happens during the middle of the book. The beginning of a story is fun and exciting, isn’t it? You’re introducing intriguing characters, heightened conflict, and attention-grabbing situations.

And then it happens. You officially arrive at the dreaded middle. There’s nothing happening. Your momentum has stalled, and your characters sit there staring at you, twiddling their thumbs.

They don’t call it the sagging middle for nothing, folks. If you’re not careful, that baby will sag so low you’ll be tempted to Select All and Delete. Or at the very least, whine to your critique partner that you’re in the middle of your worst book ever, and your career is over. (Sound familiar, Colleen Coble?) Sagging middles tend to happen when a writer begins to carelessly string together a series of events.

Tip number one: start your novel with a conflict strong enough to give those dominos a good, hard shove. In Falling Like Snowflakes Eden is on the run with her five-year-old son when her car breaks down in Summer Harbor, Maine—and the first domino falls. When her backpack—along with all her money—is stolen, it sets off a chain of events. Her escape will have to be put on hold. She has immediate needs: a job to pay for the car repairs and shelter from the winter storm. Eden is experiencing serious trouble. She has a child to protect, not a dime to her name, and danger is snipping at her heels.

 Tip number two: don’t just settle for the next scene that comes to mind. Give it some thought. Come up with five or ten ideas, and choose the one that excites you most. The easiest way to prevent the sagging middle is to create a domino effect. It’s just as it sounds. Create a conflict that pushes the next domino down. If the conflict isn’t strong enough to push the next one down, make it stronger or change it altogether. It might be helpful to think in terms of cause and effect. Each choice she makes or each thing that happens to her has a consequence. Think How is this scene going to effect my protagonist? What reaction is this going to cause? If the reaction is daydreaming by a window while sipping Earl Grey tea, it’s not the right scene. You can do better! At the very least, have your protagonist flesh out her feelings in dialogue with someone else. Maybe that friend will say something that pushing the next domino.

Tip number three: don’t give up all the good back-story in the first chapter! Doing so robs the reader of that page-turning frenzy to find answers. And how does this help with the sagging middle? Doling out back-story in careful doses keeps the reader (and the writer) interested. In Falling Like Snowflakes, tidbits about Eden’s past are parceled out like breadcrumbs along a winding path. The reader—and the hero—don’t find out what Eden is running from until almost the halfway point. And when the hero finds out, it changes everything for him. Another huge domino has just been pushed over as he tries to figure out how he’s going to protect Eden.

Think of those dominos all the way through the book. If the conflict isn’t strong enough to rock the next domino, make it worse. Make something happen. Something bad. What is your protagonist’s worst fear? Make it happen. At the worst time possible. Be mean. It’s fiction; you’re allowed. Is there a devastating secret she’s keeping? Is someone she loves keeping a secret from her? Let it come out at the worst possible time.

Keep the conflicts coming. Keep the dominos falling, and your readers won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough. Your protagonist will grow, your reader will experience the vicarious thrill of victory, and you won’t have a middle that sags to the floor. 

           Leave a comment for Denise, and we'll toss your name in the hat to win a copy of her latest novel, Falling Like Snowflakes! Here's more about it:

           Eden Martelli is too busy fleeing the clutches of danger to realize she’s running straight into the arms of a new love. Beau will go to the ends of the earth to keep her safe. But who’s going to protect his heart from a woman who can’t seem to trust again?

Read first 5 chapters of Falling Like Snowflakes here: 

Win a $200 Southwest Gift Card! Denise’s new book “Falling Like Snowflakes” is in airport book stores so we’re playing I Spy! If you’re flying in November, play along and have a chance at winning this great prize! Follow the directions in the graphic to be entered.

 Denise Hunter fights her sagging middles in Indiana, the setting of her most recent book Falling Like Snowflakes. She is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 27 books. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.

Denise writes emotionally gripping, small-town love stories. Her readers enjoy the experience of falling in love vicariously through her characters and can expect a happily-ever-after sigh as they close the pages of her books.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since.


Marianne Barkman said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Denise. How exciting...ill be in 3 airports in November. But only in arrivals in the US. I'll look to see if Calgary has it, though. I love Denise's novels and would be honoured to win. Love your post, Denise, and now I know have the domino effect down to a science! I'm a reader, not a writer, except I do reviews!

Just Commonly said...

Hi Denise. Great post. Love the dominos reference. Sagging middles can definitely be detrimental to any good story. For avid readers like myself, it can be disappointing as a whole even if in all, the story was good. Love to win a copy of Falling Like Snowflakes. Thanks again for dropping by Seekerville.

Karen said...

Hi, Denise! I just saw this link on Myra Johnson's Facebook page, and I recognized your picture right away! I've got my copy of Married 'Til Monday from the library and can't wait to read it! I already have Falling Like Snowflakes on hold too. :-)

Kara Isaac said...

Thanks for the great tips, Denise. I've got a manuscript at the moment with a serious sagging middle so I'm looking forward to seeing what dominoes I can start tipping over!

Mary Preston said...

Good advice. Let's keep those dominoes toppling.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Denise, welcome to Seekerville! What great advice, thank you!

Cindy W. said...

Hi Denise! What a great post filled with great advice. Okay, is it you or Colleen that whines that you're in your worst book ever? I love Coleen's work and your's a well and can't imagine either of you having a problem with your writing.

I love the cover of Falling Like Snowflakes and would definitely love to win a copy. Thank you for the chance.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome Denise!

I've already got my copy of Falling Like Snowflakes! Hurrah.

Indiana! Home to Seeker Janet Dean!

One question for you...are you ever tempted to write historicals at all??

Thanks for the sage sagging middle part. If only it applied to physical sagging middles, sigh.

I brought donuts which probably is a contributor to that sagging middle!

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Great tips! Your dominos sound like "make it worse" advice, but you've got to plot before you tap that first one.

And LOVE your give away! We're flying in Nov and December (total of eight flights of two months) so I am really going to keep my eyes peeled!

Bettie said...

Wow! I love the domino effect. Your article is very helpful. I've enjoyed reading many of your novels so please enter my name in the drawing for Falling like Snowflakes.

Mary Hicks said...

Denise, thanks for the great tips! The domino effect is a good visual.

My siblings and I used to play the game of seeing who could make the entire chain of dominos fall. It was fun remembering.:-)

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Denise, and welcome to Seekerville. Thanks for the great tips on avoiding a story sagging middle. I TRY to avoid that in advance by writing a high-level synopsis (required for my contact), but fleshing it out and stretching it out over those many middle chapters is nevertheless still a huge challenge each time as I attempt to make those few lines in a synopsis expand to something page-turning to "fill the gap."

Jill Weatherholt said...

Good morning, Denise. Thank you for your advice on the dreaded sagging middle. You've given me some great thoughts to vamp up my conflict in order to keep those dominos falling.
The Falling for Snowflakes cover is beautiful! I look forward to reading it. It sounds like a Hallmark movie, which I love.

Lisa Carter said...

I love the domino advice. The Falling for Snowflakes cover is gorgeous. I look forward to reading another great Denise Hunter novel.

Kate said...

Great advice, Denise! I can't wait to read your book to see it in action. Hoping for a win!!!!

Jackie said...

Hi Denise,

Welcome to Seekerville. I love how you suggest our stories need the domino effect. I'm definitely going to go over my WIP and see how I can make it better based on your suggestions.

In the beginning, the hero and heroine are interested in each other. They start with minor obstacles, and it grows to a HUGE obstacle that will tear them apart. And then a child's disappearance will bring them back together. They have to learn to trust each other to find the child. What do you think?

I'd love to be in the drawing. Thanks for stopping by and helping us on our writing journey.

Denise Hunter said...

Thanks for all the comments, ladies. I can see all the dominoes falling now. :) Marianne, good luck in the I Spy contest! Cindy, it's mostly me whining during the sagging middle. Colleen struggles more in the beginning--or so she says. Actually she's a total pro! Tina, yes, Janet used to live just down the street from me. Small world! About historicals . . . When I initially started writing, I wrote historical. But that's because I preferred reading them at the time. I'm very happy reading and writing contemporaries at the moment. :) Virginia, good luck on the I Spy contest and happy travels! Glynna, so true. No matter how thorough the synopsis, there are always things that crop up unexpectedly--and some of those can be blessings if we use them wisely. Jackie, that sounds like a good roadmap! Keep an open mind for extra twists and turns as opportunities occur. I love it when I think of a twist while I'm writing.

Suzanne Baginskie said...

Good Morning Denise, your column is excellent for all writers, seasoned or not. At times we know the beginning or ending, but how do we keep the middle on course? The muddle in the middle can be very puzzling and your domino effect offers a way out. Thank you for a great blog. This one is a keeper.

Rhonda Starnes said...

Thanks for the great tips, Denise. I'm always open to advice on tightening the dreaded sagging middle. If only, I didn't have to go to the day job, I could stay home and use your tips to plot the dominos for my next story. Sigh. Guess the plotting will have to wait until tonight.

Wilani Wahl said...

Thanks for this great advice! Your new book looks great.

Rose said...

Hi Denise.

Great post for writers at every stage in their career.

Caryl Kane said...

HELLO DENISE! Congratulations on the release of Falling like Snowflakes. The cover is FABULOUS.

Please put my name in for the drawing of your book.

Connie Queen said...

First of all, people who are talented and as pretty as you really make me turn green. :)

I love it when you said come up w/several ideas instead of just going w/the first one or two. I have book I'm working on that I jotted down scenes a long time ago during some "just get it on paper" motivation. I now realize the end won't work. I'm banging my head trying to figure out how to make it all come together and still be believable. I need to sit and map this thing through before I move ahead with the next scene.

Please toss my name in the hat for Falling Like Snowflakes.

Jeanne T said...

What a beautiful cover on your latest book!

I love the word picture of the dominoes falling, Denise. Such a great visual! As I plot out my next WIP, I'm definitely going to be looking for that.

I'm curious, are you a plotter or a pantser? :)

Julie Lessman said...


I cannot tell you what an absolute pleasure it is to have Denise on Seekerville today! The woman is on my TOP-TOP FAVES list, and I have a very prestigious contest to thank for it.

You see, I received one of Denise's books a long while back to judge in a contest, and I remember thinking: Mmm ... Denise Hunter is a big deal, I know, so why haven't I read her books yet??? Needless to say, I was thrilled to get the chance and HOLY FREAKIN' COW!! A few pages in, and I knew I'd joining the swelling ranks of readers who put this gal on auto-buy!

So when I got the chance to endorse who latest book, Falling Like Snowflakes, I was over the moon -- and you will be too when you read it because it is a stellar romantic suspense in the vein of Nicholas Sparks's Safe Haven, which is one of my favorite movies.

And the chemistry between the hero and heroine?? Hubba-hubba ... let's not go there because my hubby will freak out when I turn the air-conditioning on in November!! I mean, seriously, take a good, long look at that cover and tell me that's not one of the sexiest expressions you've ever seen on a hero!!

So in honor of Denise's new release, Falling Like Snowflakes, we're gonna bundle up today with a breakfast that will stick to your ribs, like my mom always used to say -- chunky apple cinnamon pecan oatmeal, Denver omelet casserole, sizzling maple-cured bacon and sausage, and boxes and boxes of Panera's mini-scones (my passion of late) in orange glaze and powdered sugar berry.

Once again, welcome to Denise Hunter and let's dig in!


Denise Hunter said...

Thanks, Suzanne! Yes, even seasoned writers hit snags in their stories. Keep squeezing that writing into your schedule, Rhonda. It'll pay off. Thanks, Wilani, Rose, and Caryl. Good luck on the contest. Aw, thanks, Connie. Believe me, I've had plenty of "Banging my head" moments, even all these books later. I do just as you said: sit down and map it out. Take plenty of time to brainstorm--this is where a critique partner is great!

Julie Lessman said...

MARIANNE SAID: "Love your post, Denise, and now I know have the domino effect down to a science!"

Oh, girl, you got that right -- I almost had to go off caffeine altogether when I was reading Falling Like Snowflakes, I was so jittery!

TINA SAID: "Thanks for the sage sagging middle part. If only it applied to physical sagging middles, sigh."

Yep, Teenster, that's something our guest does NOT have to worry about, the little brat!

And, CONNIE ... uh, yeah, "people who are talented and as pretty as you really make me turn green," thus my comment above! ;)

Okay, I've reached my limit on reading anything with the word "sagging" in it, so I'm off to pour a strong cup of coffee and hit the treadmill ... ;)


Tracey Hagwood said...

Hi Denise,
I was excited to see your name on the lineup here this week. I'm such a fan-girl of your work.
I've read your Chapel Springs and Nantucket series, actually 14 of your books all together, including the wonderful Falling like Snowflakes!

I couldn't pre-order The Goodbye Bride fast enough when I saw it in July, lol. While I'm waiting for that to release, I'm back-tracking and have the Big Sky series on my to-be-read list.

I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your wonderful writing!

Cindy Regnier said...

Hi Denise - Just my opinion, but in all the Denise Hunter books I've read (alot), I've never known your middle to sag! On the other hand, my WIP is swinging pretty low at the moment. Great tips and a keeper post. I've got to remember that domino effect thing. Thanks so much for being in Seeekerville today.

Laura Waltz said...

I was introduced to Denise's books by my sister and we always look forward to when an author we enjoy releases a new book. My sister lives in a different state, but we still try to tell each other about great books and keep up on wholesome, clean plots. I can't wait to read this one way or the other!

Vince said...

Hi Denise:

Great cover art. The heroine looks just like your picture on your website! Do you see yourself as the heroine? Also love your title.

"Falling Like Snowflakes" is soft, poetic, and memorable. I was at the dentist yesterday and there was a large photo on the wall of a scene that looked just like the one on your website and I asked if it was Maine as I had been to many places in Maine that looked just like it. The dentist, who took the picture, said, "No, that's Alaska".

I took your quiz. I like the way you encourage reader involvement. You have the spirit of a talanted copywriter! Of course, I took the quiz as if I were the hero and the questions were about my personality. I got Ryan McKinley.

Now, given that I'm Ryan, can you tell me which heroine is right for me?

BTW: my favorite heroine, I named Diana Hunter, as Diana was a hunting goddess. Denise Hunter also sounds like a strong name for a heroine.

I like your ideas on dealing with a sagging middle. However, I really think that the imagery of a 'sagging middle' makes for a very problematic metaphor. It visualizes the novel as if it were a long clothes line which makes sagging almost inevitable. It also puts way too much emphasis on the plot.

Often a wonderfully entertaining book is not depended on the plot to any significant degree. I don't care much about the plots in Evanovich's Stephanie Plum misadventures. I read those books for the page by page zanny wise-cracking and entertainment.

I prefer the metaphor of a series of stepping stones used to cross a wide stream in the forest. Each stone supports the story on its own. Each is either the right one or wrong one. Each is firm or wobbly-weak. Each either supports the traveler across the story or it does not.

I believe we can change our lives and by extension, our writing success by changing the metaphors that guide us.


P.S. Please place my in the drawing. I'm now invested in Ryan and his future. Somehow I am going to have to get the book. : )

Loraine Nunley said...

Thanks for the great advice Denise. From reading this, I just came up with a couple of potential conflicts to help with the sagging middle. ;o)

Thanks for the giveaway too!

Linda Goodnight said...

Oh those sagging middles! How they vex us! Thanks for the good advice, and by the way, the title of your new book is absolutely beautiful.

Jackie Smith said...

Glad you are here today, Denise! I have read and loved all your books but this one so I'd love to be in the drawing. I have pre-ordered the Goodbye Bride. Looking forward to more wonderful books by you!!

Myra Johnson said...

Wonderful advice, Denise! Thanks for being our guest today!

I'm currently wading into the sagging middle of my wip, so I'll be rereading your post and looking for new "dominoes" to stack.

Kav said...

Oooohhh -- love the imagery in the domino effect. That's something I won't forget. It seems to me that an author has to have a bit of a mean streak in order to nudge those dominos into play over her characters. LOL

I've read Falling Like Snowflakes. On my keeper shelf. Loved it (even the angst...maybe because of the angst) so no need to enter me in the giveaway.

Denise Hunter said...

Julie, you're a hoot! Thanks for your comments. Tracey, I'm so glad you're enjoying my books. Sounds like you have quite the collection! Cindy, thanks for your kind words. I fight against the sagging middle in most of my books. Good luck on your WIP! Laura, that's great that you share a love of reading with your sister. Bonding over books is great! Hi Vince. I guess there's a little piece of me in each of my heroines. Thankfully, I've never been in the mess Eden is in! Since you got Ryan as a hero, I'd have to pair you with Abby, his heroine. That was an unusual story for me in many ways. The middle never sagged, and it's as close as I've ever come to a "book writing itself". I like your stepping stone analogy, but to me, plot is king. All the other things are important too, but if a story doesn't have an intriguing plot, I don't want to read it. Maybe that's just me though. Glad the blog was helpful Loraine! Linda and Jackie, thanks for your comments. And Myra, good luck with your WIP!

Meghan Carver said...

Hello, fellow Hoosier! It was terrific to meet you at our April IN Chapter meeting and get a signed copy of The Wishing Season. The middle plagues me as well, so I appreciate your tips. You made me start thinking and I may have come up something that will work. The domino effect is a great way to think of the story. Thank you!

Jackie said...

Thanks, Denise. I'll watch for opportunities to throw in a twist. Have a great day!

Charlotte Kay said...

So excited for a chance to win this book! I am so glad you shared these tips, Denise. That is exactly what a reader desires in a book!!!!!! The best writers use these tips! Sure hope many writers use these tips if they aren't already!!!!!
Many Blessings and Smiles :) :) :)

Candee Fick said...

Seekerville and Denise, Thank you for the perfect illustration to help keep tension building through the middle of a story. I just spotted a gap in my line of dominoes and will be adjusting accordingly so It doesn't stall and need a restart. Am adding yet another fabulous book recommendation to my list of books to read!

J:-)mi said...

Some writing tips are just too far beyond me. I can't grasp them yet. This one however, really does help. I'm currently writing picture books and beginner chapter books for all my "kids" (best friends' kids, nephew, cousin equaling at least 6 stories) as Christmas presents. And I'm finding it really hard with one of them! I didn't think the story was exciting enough for a kid. I've been rethinking everything I wrote. This advice really helps me figure out how to approach it! Thank you! And yes, I hope to win a copy of your book 'cause I'm a big fan :-)

Janet Dean said...

Denise, welcome to Seekerville! I'm thrilled your book's in airport bookstores! That's huge! Go you! Your books always manage to surprise the reader.

Thanks for the excellent tips for not allowing the middles of our stories to sag. Love the image of using conflict strong enough to topple a domino and keep them falling one after another.

This fun YouTube video proves a lot of work is involved in setting up dominoes to topple. So like you say, writers must push beyond the first scene idea and dig deeper.


Janet Dean said...

Julie, thanks for bringing Denise to Seekerville today. I'm also a fan of her books. Breakfast is yummy and filling enough to keep us typing away!


Sandy Smith said...

Denise, I love the cover of Falling Like Snowflakes. Definitely makes me want to read it. Thanks for the tips on fixing the sagging middle. I am working on my first book and basically gave up when I hit the middle. I will use the dominoes idea to go back and try to fix.

Jana Vanderslice said...

I'm going to do it!!!
Have your heroine face her worst fear: Shooting a rattlesnake in the front yard!!
At the worst possible time: Sunday morning in church clothes, high heels, & carrying a pie!! (It's set in Texas, and we pretty much always carry food to church.)
She'll hold it together until it's all over, then she'll call her dad & cry.

And this is Not Autobiographical! Well, not the high heels or pie part! :)

I can't wait! Thanks, Denise!
Please put me in the drawing!

Janet Dean said...

Denise, I was blessed to sit in on a brainstorming session with talented writers Colleen, Diann Hunt and Kristin Billerbeck? Do you have suggestions for brainstorming that ensures the conflict is strong enough to carry an entire book?


Debby Giusti said...

I love secrets!!! And airports!

Loved this post too!

Thanks, Denise, for being with us today. Great tips on making the middle count!!! I find in my stories that the romance develops during those mid-pages. He and she start to fall in love. Of course, when it looks like everything will work out...danger strikes! Then the story moves quickly to the black moment and climax! That's where I am in my edits today. Bad things are going to happen. In a suspense, that's good!

Grabbing a cup of coffee before I head back to work. Thanks for invigorating me today!

I stopped at Fresh Market this morning and got an assortment of their zucchini, apple and pumpkin breads to share. On sale, two for one!

By the way, your cover hooked me. I read "MUST READ" right under the title!

Congrats on your success, Denise, and thanks for being with us in Seekerville!


Kathryn Barker said...

Good morning Denise...well, maybe it is afternoon for you? Thanks for sharing these great tips! The domino effect is so visual!! I can see it happening!! Definitely a post to print off!!

So happy your books are flyin' high!! Can't wait to read your new story.

Would love to be entered in the drawing...

Have a wonderful to work on my word count for NaNoWriMo!!

Denise Hunter said...

Kav, I"m very nice in person--honest! :) So glad you enjoyed Snowflakes. You're welcome, Meghan. It was nice to meet you. Thanks for your comments, Jackie and Kathryn. Candee, Good luck with your WIP. So glad you found that gap. Glad the blog was helpful J:-m)i. Good for you, Sandy! Keep at it. Haha, perfect, Jana! That's the spirit. Thanks for your comments, Debby! Good luck on your writing.

Good question, Janet. Brainstorming with partners is a great way to come up with ideas that never would've occurred. They're great when you're "stuck" too. One of the ways I know I have a good enough conflict is when many scene ideas pop into my head as I'm thinking about the story. That assures me I have a strong running "engine" to the story. There's nothing worse than getting into a story and realizing the conflict isn't strong enough. You end up plodding along and hating your story. It's always fixable though. You can always go back and make it stronger or raise the stakes.

Girly3323 said...

Sadly, I will not be going to the airport until December. :P But, I'm certainly putting this book on my "to read" list. :)

Leslie Ann aka LA said...

Hi Denise,
Great post. I tend to write fast and have to remind myself to slow down and find the "next right scene."

I'd love to be in the drawing for your book.

Leslie Ann aka L.A. Sartor

Chill N said...

Dominoes! So easy to visualize. I like that. Thanks! And congrats on all your writing accomplishments!

Nancy C

Denise Hunter said...

Girly3323, me too! I finally have a book in the airport and I don't even get to see it! Something tells me they'd frown on me sneaking in. :) Thanks for the comments, Leslie and Chill. Good luck in the contest!

Trixi said...

This is a book that's been on my TBR & I do have a couple of other books by Denise :-) Can never get enough or have enough my!! Toss my name in the hat please :-)

Dana R. Lynn said...

I love this post. the domino effect analogy really connected with me. I'm definitely going to be saving this post to refer back to!

Please put my name in the drawing.


Terri said...

Denise, the domino analogy is perfect - makes it so easy to understand. I'm in the middle of revising a book now and will definitely use this tips please throw my name in for the drawing.

Donna said...

Denise, I love how you broke down a complex issue into something doable! Thank you!

Valri said...

Hello Denise! I love the title of your post! It really catches the eye!! I also LOVE the cover of your new book! It makes me want to snuggle under a blanket and read it in one sitting!!! I'd love to be in the drawing for it!

DebH said...

Thanks for writing about an "old" tool in a new way. I like the domino effect visual and I love the cover of your book. I'd love to be in the draw for it, especially with the glowing words from other commenters. Can't go wrong with Villiger recommendations.

Thanks for sharing the concept and the examples.

Sarah Claucherty said...

Woohoo, an Indiana lady! I'm waving from Lafayette, Denise!

My sister has Falling Like Snowflakes and raves about it, but she's not sharing! Apparently it's too good to let out of her sight, so please add me to the drawing so I can read it too :)

Thanks for the falling dominoes analogy-it makes so much sense of a potentially-complex element. Glad you stopped in at Seekerville!

Edwina said...

Good heavens! When I read the title of today's post, I thought Denise was talking about me! Fortunately, that was not the case!

Denise, your post was fantastic - especially the domino effect. That's very helpful in terms of building momentum.

Please put my name in for the drawing for Falling Like Snowflakes!

Walt Mussell said...

A day late. I always get to my middles like engineers build underground tunnels. I start on both ends and meet in the middle. The troublesome part is making sure the two ends meet in the middle . Usually, some "re-engineering" is required.

Tara Johnson said...

Excellent advice!

Suzanne Baginskie said...

I checked out one of your books on Amazon where you can read a short excerpt. Wow your writing really blew me away and really pulled me in. You have gained another reader and fan. Networking is great and opens your eyes to other authors. Glad you blogged on Seekerville. I wish you continued success.

Missy Tippens said...

Denise, I'm a day late, but thank you for this great post!! It's so helpful to picture the story as dominos. I plan to think of it that way as I'm working on a new proposal. We're so glad you joined us!

Carolyn Astfalk said...

Great advice! I'm flailing with my NaNoWriMo project this year, and I think I'll trying find those 5 or 10 possibilities and choosing among them. I'm so behind and so eager to get something on the page, but I don't want to fill the middle just for the sake of filling it. Granted, it's a first draft, but the better the first draft, the simpler the edits!

bonton said...

Hi, Denise!! Thanks for the interesting post - congrats on 'Falling Like Snowflakes'. I haven't had the honor of reading any of your books, but love the fact you 'keep the dominoes falling' in them. Makes for exciting reading, keeping Julie Lessman on the edge of her seat is another wonderful endorsement.

Please enter my name in the drawing for a copy of your book, thank you!!

J Baugh said...

Wonderful advice! Thank you!

Deanne Patterson said...

Congratulations on the release of Falling Like Snowflakes. Who can resist that cover ? It just makes me want to read it while snuggled up sipping hot tea. So glad you stopped in at Seekerville to visit with us and share your wisdom . Keep those dominoes falling ! Please enter me for the book drawing.

Deanne P.

Denise Hunter said...

Trixi, I agree! One can never have enough books. Haha. Dana, Terri, and Donna, I'm so glad the analogy helped. Good luck on your WIPs! Valri, I love the cover too! HCCP has done a fabulous job with my covers. DebH, glad the post was helpful. Good luck on the contest! Hello, fellow Hoosier Sarah! Sorry your sister won't share. :) Maybe you'll win your own copy. Haha Edwina! An article about that kind of sagging would be appropriate seeing as how we writers spend so much time sitting! Walt, just reading about your method makes my head hurt! LOL but I'm a huge fan of doing whatever works for YOU. Tara and J Baugh, thanks for your comments! Suzanne, thank you so much. I'm glad you liked my writing. Good to "see" you here Missy. Thanks for your comment. Carolyn, good luck with NaNoWriMo. And yes, pausing to make sure you're writing the next RIGHT scene can save you much work down the road! Bonton, haha, Julie is an amazing writer. I'm so honored she enjoys my books. Good luck in the contest. Thanks for your comments, Deanne. I'm so tickled that you all invited me to participate at Seekerville!