Starting in the Middle

Sorry I’ve been quiet, but to be honest that sums up how I’ve felt lately. I’ve been battling with editing and I don’t enjoy it as much as the luxurious free writing of a first draft.

Having said that, I seem, fingers crossed, to be getting somewhere. I switched the manuscript I was working on for my RNA New Writers’ Scheme back to my favourite Rosie and Tanner story. As I appear to be scared of getting the beginning or the ending wrong, I made the decision to start in the middle and it seems to be paying off. Anyone else use this method?

I picked a pivotal moment in the story and edited and embellished that chapter. This included a look at overused words. Oh dear, my list is long. It is quite telling when you ask for a search of “just” or “that” and get hundreds!

After this chapter, I worked on the ones either side of it. This seems to be focussing my mind on the story. I realise that at least another pass will be required, but the completed pages are mounting up and it feels achievable. Stilling the panic seems to be one of the key factors for me.

What is your most repeated word? I can then add it to my editing list!

Watch out for a competition on my blog soon.

By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels.


  1. 'That' is a bad one for me too! Also 'slightly' and 'a bit'. Ooh and 'obviously'.

    Never tried starting the middle myself,but will store that in my memory for when panic strikes. good luck with it! X


  2. 'Just' is a bad one for me too. I like your idea of starting in the middle – does that help to solve the problem of the sagging middle?!
    Hope to meet you at the RNA B'ham on Saturday.


  3. Flowerpot – It's more 'she@ in this novel!

    Sally – I'm hoping it helps the story hang together better – seems to be working so far and keeping my morale up too. See you on Saturday! Quakes in boots! Mx


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