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45 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Vivian, useful video. Examples really add to your advice points. I seem to have both a saggy AND overly complex middle, the latter problem being my response to the former problem. I think your “edit the crap out if it” advice is where I need to go. Anyway, keep the advice coming.

  2. Hi Vivien. Found your channel a few weeks ago and have been binge watching ever since! I find your advice helpful and it has inspired me to return to working on my own first novel. Not sure if you have done this video before, but could you do one on novel genres? How to determine which genre a novel might fall into or a list of the different genres our there? Also, keep up the great work producing these videos👍

  3. I defiantly saved to my Watch Later queue your Advice For Young Writers. I scrolled down and was confronted with this hard, or should I say, soft, truth. Fine, I’m old and have a comfortable midsection.

  4. Awesome! Definitely, the middle of the story, is where the plot starts forming, and all the obstacles & complications develop, so it should keep the readers at the edge of their seat & not bored!

  5. Great video! I think escalation is the best answer to this question. You escalate the conflict by putting more and more conflict before your main character. It doesn't have to be physical obsticles. Conflict can be anything, but it needs to get harder and harder for the character to reach their goal.

  6. Thanks, this was indeed very helpful! If I may add an additional suggestion for middles: Add an intriguing and memorable character who shakes up the story. Two classic examples: The character of Gollum in "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings," who comes in around the middle and transforms these so far fairly conventional adventure yarns into something profound and disturbing. Also, R.L. Stevenson's "Treasure Island," where the character Ben Gunn appears and makes the story far more vivid and memorable than it would otherwise have been. This method works just as well in modern stories.

  7. I recently decided to combine what was going to be two volumes together. The first "volume" had a sudden downer ending (protagonist goes back to old ways and therefore fails) but I was really struggling to find a way to make it a satisfying ending for a book anyways, so instead it's basically the halfway point.

  8. Thank you so much! This video was one of the best! on my last project, I got halfway, (Yay!) and it got really boring really fast. Boring for the characters, boring for the readers and boring for me. I recognized the fact that it was boring, but didn't know exactly why. So yeah, this just answered every question I had. Thanks!

  9. 0:02 Got it. No need to watch the rest of the video; I'll just make my characters do crunches all the time. This makes sense: Bruce lee did crunches constantly, and he was the epitome of awesome.

  10. This video came just at the right time. I‘m currently figguring out the missing middle of my novel and trying to connect the climax with it. If I get this middle fixed, my outline is complete! :O
    I‘m so excited, thank you for the helpful advice!^^

  11. Hi Vivien, love your channel!
    You've said before that you were an engineer. As a fellow engineer/fiction writer, I wanted to know in what field are you working or what was your major? I am a mechanical engineer

  12. Awesome advice Vivien! I am both editing and drafting right now… 😅 My current WIP draft was plotted and I am confident the middle will be at least okay once I am done with it, whereas the middle of the WIP I am editing (which I pantsed) is HORRID. I still love pantsing though haha.

  13. Hey Vivien,I am an Indian and I have written a book of American origin.Now I am confused,should I visit America and go for classic publishing or should I go for self publish it on Amazon.I am pretty confident about my story.but I am also short on funds so😅 plz help!
    BTW love your videos.😍

  14. Plotter for life! Some great advice. I'm not completely sure how, but I've been interested in doing a visual abstraction of the outline. Along the lines of Drawing your life in those Patti Dombrowski Ted talks. I wonder if the more vectors we contemplate our plots the better we can perceive the story.

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