Write Better Fiction: The Scene Middle

Today on Write Better Fiction we’ll cover The Scene Middle. Write Better Fiction is a process to help you critique your own manuscript and give yourself feedback. This will help you improve your novel, so you’re ready to submit it to an editor.

Everyone knows the cliche hook, line, and sinker. You can apply that to your scene but think of it as entry hook, scene middle, and exit hook. You’ll need all three of these elements in every scene to create a story your readers can’t put down.

Hook, LINE, SinkerThe Dreaded Scene Middle (hook, line, sinker)

You’ve got a great scene hook. Your readers are engaged. So don’t let them down when it comes to the middle of your scene. You want to reel them in all the way to the climax of the scene.

You must have conflict. This doesn’t mean a fight, but there should be something standing in the way of the goal of your point of view character for that scene. The conflict will cause the characters in the scene to react. This may be good or bad for your protagonist, but it must move your story forward.

Make sure there is action. Something must happen in the middle of your scene. I try to describe the action in one short sentence. That way when I scan the column in my spreadsheet and can check I have a tight middle.


This column will structure your thoughts  so it’s easy to ask yourself:

Are you repeating anything?

Does your middle link the scene hook to the climax?

Does everything in the middle either relate to the POV character goal, drive the story forward or develop character? If not, consider removing that part, or at the least, understand why you included it in your scene middle.

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 5.06.20 PM

Your challenge this week: In one sentence describe what happens in the middle of each scene. Is it enough to keep the reader reading?

I critiqued DESCENT and BLAZE using the techniques I’m sharing in Write Better Fiction, and I believe this helped me sign with a publisher. And speaking of my publisher, Imajib Books is having a sale this week.

Shower yourself with ebooks from Imajin Books during the Spring Showers eBook Sale April 17 – 23.

The sale includes DESCENT and BLAZE, so if you haven’t read either Stone Mountain Mystery, now is your chance.

Please let me know in the comments below if you have any suggestions how to check whether a scene middle is strong enough?

Thanks for reading…


Thank you for commenting! Your email address will be stored but not shared.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.