*Nonfiction*

The middle of your book is probably not much different from the other parts of the manuscript. In an informative nonfiction book, consistency is important. Readers want a steady stream of useful information that they can immediately apply to their lives, so continue to deliver that, and content-wise, you should have no trouble getting through the middle section of your book.

Psychologically, this is probably the part where you’re starting to slow down. You’ve written half a book, and life goes on, and you’re starting to wonder if it’s really as important as you felt it was at the beginning. You’ve probably gotten the most pressing parts of your message written down, and now you’re working on filling in the rest of the information needed to make that message applicable. (If this isn’t happening to you, and you’re continuing to write at a steady pace, good job! Keep it up!)

One way to combat this is to write in smaller blocks of time. Instead of forcing yourself to sit for a straight hour a day and write, try doing four blocks of fifteen minutes. Set a timer so you remember when your next writing block is coming up, and set a goal for how many paragraphs you want to write during each block. Alternatively, you can write a paragraph, do something else, write another paragraph, and so on. This helps you get in the habit of writing every day without feeling like you need to push yourself to get everything down at once. This method is especially helpful if your book topic is something that can be conveyed in small segments of text or micro-chapters.

Whether or not it’s the most exciting part of your book, your message is valuable, Author. Keep going!

*This Week’s Word Count*
Nonfiction: 26,775
Your book is as long as: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

*Fiction*

Fiction writers often have the opposite reaction to nonfiction writers when reaching the middle of their books. Where nonfiction authors often write the “OMG, I can’t wait to talk about this” part in the first half, fiction authors usually come to that part toward the end of the story, since narrative arcs naturally build up to the point of greatest drama. So while nonfiction authors may be winding down as they pass the halfway point, fiction authors start to kick it into high gear.

There’s probably a moment of high drama in the middle-ish section of your book. It might be the heroes’ first encounter with the villains, it might be the reveal of a big piece of information that changes the nature of the rest of the story, or it might be some other scene. It’s not as dramatic, epic, or important as the climax of the book, but it’s still kind of a big deal.

While it’s tempting to write out a dramatic scene in a rush of euphoric writer’s bliss and then move on, pause after you write a scene like that. Re-visit it that the next day and see if you wrote it a little too fast. Layer in more details, especially sensory inputs like sight, sound, and smell. Give these big scenes the attention and page space they deserve.

The middle of your book is also a good time to resolve a minor plot arc, or start a new one, or both. This keeps the reader on their toes in terms of attention span. They’re invested in your main plot arc, but wrapping up a subplot in the middle rewards them for reading this far, and starting a new subplot gives them something shiny and new to think about. As always, use relevant, useful subplots that reveal information about the characters, world, or main plot.

You’re more than halfway done, Author! Great job, and keep it up!

*This Week’s Word Count*
Fiction: 42,500
Your book is as long as: The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

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