Have you ever started story and given up halfway through? Sadly, this is the common experience for many writers, especially when it comes to finishing a big project such as a novel.
There are many reasons to scrap a story after you’ve started writing. Maybe your premises wasn’t as interesting as you thought, or maybe your character lacked the motivation to make it to the finish line.
Here’s a simple way to bulletproof your writing process against this problem:
Start writing at the halfway point.
What is the Halfway Point?
The halfway point (or midpoint) occurs 50% of the way through your story. Here, something big happens. This is called the second turning point, and marks the moment your characters stops reacting to her circumstances and takes action.
The second turning point is when the protagonist suffers defeat, forcing her to push back. Your character and the antagonist should clash, driving the protagonist to take action against the enemy.
Start Your Story in the Middle
Once you have a basic grasp of your character, premise, and plot points, start writing from the halfway point. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How did my character get to this point in the story?
- What will she do to change her circumstances?
- What decision will she have to make to push the story onward?
If you understand these details, you can avoid fizzling out 50% of the way through your novel.
Keep Your Character Proactive
Reactive characters are not passive. The protagonist’s choices should propel the story forward, even if they’re a reaction against an antagonizing force.
A good example of this is Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. At the beginning of the story, Katniss chooses to take her sister’s place as tribute. She makes an active decision against a threat to her family.
If Katniss was selected by no fruition of her own, the story would be far less engaging.