My Twitter Follower Tweeted that she wrote her ending, as I and several other writers suggested, but she was still having trouble connecting the end with her first 20,000 words. Mid-book block is not at all uncommon. In fact, in many published works, the middle is the weakest part of the book.

As one pundit put it, “Every book has a beginning, an ending, and a muddle.”

An overall outline will help tremendously here but, let’s face it, overall outlines can be difficult. Moreover, overall outlines are supposed to guide you on the road trip of writing, but they may also stifle the natural needs of the story as you progress. Never be afraid to revise your overall outline, never feel as if you’re chained to it, especially if a spontaneous twist to the story springs up.

Often, spontaneous twists are the best kind.

Here’s what I suggested to my Twitter Follower, what has worked for me during the dreaded mid-book block.

Micro-outline the next scene. Just the scene itself.

Every scene has—or should have—its own internal story arc. It’s got a beginning, a middle, and an end and moves the plot or a subplot forward in some way. It has a purpose, in other words, however small. If it doesn’t have a purpose, you’re better off not writing it because you’ll likely have to delete it on final-round editing.

Jot down the scene’s beginning, middle and ending, what you want the scene to accomplish. If there are several purposes to the scene, jot them down, blow-by-blow. Don’t try to write. But often you’ll find the prose starting to flow. No more block!

Do the same with next scene and reassess where your mid-book plot is taking you. Closer to the ending, I hope!

Are you on track with your overall vision? Has the book changed?

At this point, overall-outlining how you intend to get to the ending is a good idea so you don’t find yourself wandering.

So there you have it, my friends. Always keep the underpinning of your story firmly within your grasp, its purpose and its goal. But there’s nothing wrong with doing that, piece by piece, allowing the story to evolve. And if you’re blocked, focusing on each step often releases whatever is inhibiting you.

A road trip? Writing is also like scaling a mountain. You’ve got to take it piton by piton, one step up after the next.

From the author of Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) on Nook, , US Kindle, UK Kindle, and Smashwords, The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more, on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

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