Last night I re-read Write Your Novel From the Middle by James Scott Bell. His idea is that you have the middle point moment (the “mirror” moment) of your story, plus backstory psychology and the transformation scene (ending) and that will make the actual writing of the story easier. Once you have one point of the triangle, then you can make the other points.
He listed 14 helpful “must have” (for him) scenes.
Let’s say the average 90K story has 50 to 60 scenes, you have a list of the 14 must have scenes – and the rest of the scenes are connecting lines.
It sounds doable.
Of course you need a main character (Mr. Bell calls it the Lead) to tell the story from who is going to have that ‘mirror’ moment in the middle of the book. That Lead needs to have a problem to solve (internal – which is reflected in the ‘mirror’ moment) and ‘death stakes,’ meaning that the character has to be in danger of dying some sort of death – physical, professional, or psychological. I think psychological would be the hardest one to show but would bring the most drama. Drama! If the character doesn’t gain his objective, his life will be incurably damaged. What came to mind with that is some child throwing a hissy fit about not getting to go somewhere, or a hormonal teen who is going to ‘just die’ if she can’t get to the dance or go to the concert or whatever teens want to do these days.
I’m sure I have wanted something that badly. I just don’t remember what exactly I wanted that badly. Those dramatic flareups seem to pass with age, which is probably why main characters are seldom over the age of 40.
Okay okay, Frodo and Bilbo were older when they went on their adventures. But they’re hobbits. As if that solves the universal aging problem. Just head off into the west – all will be better. Go with the elves on the mysterious boat and get to heaven. Drink the Cool-aid while you’re at it.

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