You might be thinking, ugh… the middle… lots and lots of writing.

Yep… That’s true, but you can have fun writing it, especially if you outline fun into the middle right from the start. Writing short stories should have an outline, too, really. I don’t think I’ve ever written without one. They’re easy to follow, you know that you’re going to get the stuff in that you want to without forgetting, and if you think of something better… no problem. Outlines are flexible, as long as you follow the basic structure.

Alnwick Castle, the castle used for filming ex...
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Gustav Freytag outlined the basic structure for any story, and believe it or not… screen plays follow it also. There are more definite timing points, but basic structure always works.

You start with the exposition. You introduce your readers to your main character and give any needed information and BOOM! Your conflict begins. This is where your middle begins.

So, start with the uphill where the action is rising. You’re getting people to feel something about the character and about the problem. You build and build and then, reach your climax where the conflict is about as bad as it can get.

Then, there’s falling action where you wind up the loose ends, the denouement, and ending.

So, let’s think about Harry Potter…

In the first book, he’s got a horrible life under the stairs. Then, Haggrid shows up to change his life. That’s where the middle happens.  It’s all about Harry getting to Hogwarts, meeting the friends, confronting the evil Draco and then… they find the Sorcerer’s Stone (the Philosopher’s Stone in the U. K.) and have to get to it before Voldemort so that he can’t come back.

In the middle, Harry meets his friends, find the dead unicorn, Hermoine escapes a very nasty troll, and you’re engaged right up to the time that the stone drops into Harry’s pocket. The denouement and the end happen when Harry wakes up in Hogwart’s infirmary.

All the fun happens in the middle!

My advice is to follow the pyramid. Figure out where your conflict can start (early as possilbe), where the climax will be, and where the story will end.  Then, fill in the rest. It will be much easier for you. So, give it a try!

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