On writing middles

Middles are indubitably the most tricky and treacherous parts of a novel to write. Your middle is your centerpiece, your turning point, and your biggest milestone. If your readers have journeyed with you thus far, odds are they’ll want to finish the race.

In some ways, middles are fun to write: they offer tremendous freedom compared to the strict first and third acts in which we must accomplish so much in so little time. By comparison, the second act is a yawning gulf that entices the writer’s imagination to run wild. Of course, the flipside of this is actually quite scary: the list of things we must accomplish in the middle of our stories is comparatively short, but we can’t assume this makes accomplishing them any easier.

Just a little clarification is probably due, since I’ve noticed some people giving me confused looks at my response to the question, “How is your book coming?” My answer has lately been something like, “Which book?” To which they respond, “Um…the one you’re writing?” So just to set things straight: I’m currently working on a trilogy of books collectively titled The Reinhold Chronicles, to be released in 2016, 2017, and 2018 (God willing). I’ve finished the first draft and round of editing for first book—The Fiery Arrow—which is planned for release next year. Thus, the book I’m in the center of right now is actually the second book.


With that out of the way…I am having a blast writing the centerpiece of book #2. There are a lot of moving parts and quite a few new characters entering the stage, but the juggling act is always as satisfying as it is terrifying.

And it truly is terrifying.


(A few P.S.s: my short story “Finding Viola” is currently free on Kindle,  the 2nd edition of The Lighthouse Thief is on its way, and I have a new sidebar widget on this site that tells my current writing process.)

Beginning another adventure…

Well, it seems that despite a busy schedule and the traditional flow of life, I’ve found some spare time. The autumn breeze seems to have gotten to my head and infected it with a crazy idea. But it is a good idea.

Today, I started writing my next book.

In truth, I really don’t have time. None at all, in fact! However, God is showing me that the things we “have time for” in life are not always the most important—it’s the things we make time for that matter. To me, writing is such a gift that, despite whatever I may have going on, it is definitely worth making time for.

How long will it take? Who can say. Writers and their works are mysterious. Even I have not figured them out yet…(chuckle)…all that matters is that I have begun. Begun that first step of an adventure that will thrill me and hopefully delight so many others.

Carpe diem,