I’m currently reading James Scott Bell’s “Write Your Novel from the Middle,” which I can’t recommend highly enough. It has me looking at my current WIP from a whole different angle.

photo by Catie Rhodes, WANA Commons.
photo by Catie Rhodes, WANA Commons.

The basic premise is this: Bell states that every story needs a moment at the midpoint when the protagonist looks in the metaphorical mirror. It’s the moment when the character looks at himself and considers who he is becoming and what he’ll have to do to overcome the challenges of the story. Or when the protagonist acknowledges the odds she’s facing. Bell calls this the “look in the mirror” moment. Bell writes:

Virtually all books on craft approach it as another “plot” point. Something external happens that changes the course of the story. But what I detect is a character point, something internal, which has the added benefit of bonding audience and character on a deeper level.

As I revise one story and begin another, I’m keeping Bell’s words in mind. Thinking this way has forced me to look beyond plot points and identify that one magic moment, building the story around it and deepening the story. If you write fiction and haven’t read this book yet, I would recommend you check it out ASAP.

Midweek ROW80 check-in:


  • Finish a second draft of my novella “Good Old-Fashioned Magic.” Revised one chapter. I still have some dialogue work to do in that chapter, but it’s mostly revised. Also made another attempt at a “blurb” for this manuscript.
  • Write a first draft of another novella. Wrote part of one scene in a notebook. Also created a very rough outline for this story.
  • Read a minimum of four books on the business or craft of writing. One of four books read. Continued reading “Write Your Novel from the Middle” by James Scott Bell.

Social media:

  • Check in on Twitter daily. Not met, though I have been checking in on Facebook.
  • Blog two times per week. On track.
  • Comment on three to five blogs per day, Monday-Thursday. Met for Tuesday, not for Monday.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

Can you identify the mirror moment in your story? What bit of writing advice changed the way you looked at your manuscript?

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