Just about four and a half years ago, I was large and round and splitting pregnant with twin boys. I was literally a big mama.
After delivering them (c-section, no less), I had very little left to my abdominal muscles. Going from flat on my back to sitting was nearly impossible.
I had a saggy middle.
Nobody wants a saggy middle.
Now, I’m going to be honest, if I may, my middle isn’t toned. Let’s just say, you can’t scrub your laundry on these abs. But, I have regained mobility. I’m not hard-pressed to sit up anymore.
Had I given up, after the c-section, and decided it was too much work to sit up, I would still have a saggy, useless middle. However, I didn’t let that happen…after all, I had 3 kiddos under the age of 2 at the time. I got up. Moved around. Made my middle work again.
You know, it’s the same for writing.
It is really tempting to put all of the effort into the beginning of the book. A real good invitation for the reader to enter into the story. And it’s equally tempting to put everything into the end. To leave them satisfied or changed or moved.
And it is so very easy to forget how important the middle is.
And, so, the middle gets saggy. Flabby. Immobile. Icky.
Many readers abandon the saggy story. They never get to that FLASH BOOM BANG ending because the middle was too gooshy.
When writing Paint Chips, I was very aware of that potential. My first draft sagged in the middle. Lifeless and lumpy. I had to tone it up. Give it definition. It took hard work. A lot of days refining and cutting and shaping. I had to learn pacing and rhythm and suspense in order to achieve a good form.
And, I have to say, the hard work proved well worth it.
I suspect that saggy middles aren’t unique to post baby mamas or novels.
50% is the hardest place to be on a journey.
Half way is where we are tempted to give up.
Have you experienced a difficult mid-point at some time in your life? A saggy middle? How did you overcome it? Who helped you through? Are you at a saggy middle right now? How are you dealing with it?
I absolutely love to hear what you have to say. Your words are valuable to me.
Have a lovely day!