plotting in detail

Question: I know what is going to happen in the book but I think the middle is too boring with not enough happening. At the start she is being bullied by everyone and has lost all her family. There is a god world and she has a power she was born with to communicate with the gods. Her family have gone to the god world because they died. No one knows how her father died and he has gone missing in the god world. At the end she finds out what happened to him (not sure what - I'm trying to think about it as I write) and the bullying stops and everyone finds out about her powers. I think the middle doesn't have enough of a story line to make it interesting. I had written 14 chapters but got bored of reading my own work when I got to the 9th chapter. I deleted most of my work and tried again but the same thing happened. Not enough is happening to make the story interesting. Is there anything I could do to make it better?


Answer: It sounds like a case of sagging middle syndrome.

In the first part of your story, you've established who your main character is and her inner conflict. Presumably you've also shown her coping with her problems in a way that may or may not be terribly effective. You should also consider introducing a character who does things differently, who might represent a better approach, and who she might have some kind of relationship with (anything from mortal enemies to love interest). Anyone can fill this role. It could even be her absent father. You should also include the inciting incident that begins the overall story or establishes the story goal.

If the initial driver of act one was her parents' death that put her in her current situation, create another big event or action to start the ball rolling in act 2.

In act two, you need to challenge her. Give her new problems or put her in increasingly complicated situations where she feels pressure to change and where there is doubt whether she is up to the task. Assuming you are going to eventually have a happy ending, this is where everything starts to go wrong. Of course, she can find new allies and dividends as well. But overall, you want the tension to build because things are getting more desperate.

Act three then will be about the climax, where her problems are at their worst and she must make the ultimate decision (whether or not to change) that determines the outcome (which we will see in Act 4).

Have fun with this.

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