Write Your Novel From the Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between By James Scott Bell

A powerful secret, and a fresh approach to writing bestselling fiction!

What's the best way to write a next level novel? Some writers start at the beginning and let the story unfold without a plan. They are called pantsers, because they write by the seat of the pants.

Other writers plan and outline and know the ending before they start. These are the plotters.

The two sides never seem to agree with each other on the best approach.

But what if it's not the beginning or the end that is the key to a successful book? What if, amazing as it may seem, the place to begin writing your novel is in the very middle of the story?

According to #1 bestselling writing teacher James Scott Bell, that's exactly where you'll find your story's heart and heat. Bell's Mirror Moment is the secret, and its power is available to any writer, at any stage of the writing process.

Bringing together years of craft study and personal discovery, Bell presents a truly unique approach to writing a novel, one that will stand the test of time and serve you all your writing life.

I need three things before I tackle a new novel: Diet Coke, a laptop, and my dog-eared copies of James Scott Bell's books on writing craft!” - Kami Garcia, #1 NYT Times & International Bestselling author Write Your Novel From the Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between

James Scott Bell ☆ 5 Free read

I read this a while ago because I'd bought it off Amazon, but I never wrote a review for it. >.< I've actually played around with this concept of writing a story before, so it wasn't new to me, but I really liked Bell's approach to it and the way he frames it in a systematic way for writers of different walks and minds. Full review to come. English The weird aversion to sex scenes with body parts is somehow juvenile and puritanical at the same time. No, Mr. Bell, two lines of a mediocre metaphor doesn't work better than actual descriptions. Way to marginalize entire genres by suggesting there's something wrong with real sex scenes written by grownups who aren't afraid of body part words.

This is a short book, and it could have been a lot shorter while still imparting the same information. There's literally one idea in the whole thing, and it could be explained in a thousand words or less. All the padding is useful to justify selling it for $4, I guess. English At the center of this book, literally and figuratively, is a compelling idea: a rethinking of the midpoint of a book or film.

In many writing guides, the midpoint is where something happens. The midpoint, in these guides, never quite reaches the vaunted level of Plot Point 1 or Plot Point 2. Still, something happens at the midpoint. Bell says he's analyzed books and films and has realized that the midpoint is this: a mirror moment (not even a whole scene but a moment in a scene) in which the protagonist has to look at herself and decide what kind of person she is (in character-driven stories), or to consider the odds against her.

But more than this, Bell says this is what the story is actually about, its true center. Thus, writing from the middle means that you might wish to first identify this moment, and then you'll know how to get your character there, and will understand your character better, and (in case you missed this) what the story is actually about.

I'm simplifying, but then again, it's a simple--if compelling--concept. As a writer, I think I will find this useful, perhaps even four-stars useful. The book gets three stars, however, because it has the feel of an article stretched to book length (and only barely; it's 92 pages). It's a perfect ebook; three bucks worth of learning. I think I'd feel cheated, however, if I paid ten bucks for the paperback.

English Half the book is an ad for another book, it's still an OK read...

I'm a disorganized mess at times, many times, and when I create a story, I start somewhere in the middle. James Scot Bell's short e-book Write Your Novel from the Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between explains how this is a perfectly utile method for writing a book, even if you're the plan-every-detail-ahead, organized type. Fiction can be distilled into a 3 part structure (I always thought it was 5 part, but whatever). The 2nd part is the point of no return, the defining moment of the plot, ergo the most interesting. You can build on how your character came to be in that position or how they'll get out of it. Write scenes out of order, use paper & index cards if you have to (he recommends Scrivener). Then there's some other writing advice that's fairly generic. That's the first half.

The second half of this book seems to be a thinly-veiled ad for a pulp-noir, Big Red's Daughter, using that book as a guide on how to hook readers into your story right away. Excerpts from BRD are shown, demonstrating writing techniques that work to keep the reader turning the pages in excitement. BRD actually looks pretty interesting & is only 99¢ on Kindle, a better deal than the $3.99 I paid for this 93-page book.

As for this book? Informative, but nothing revolutionary. It simply affirms that you don't need to write in a rigid manner to finish a book. Just find what makes you comfortable and brings you joy and FINISH IT! English this was shorter than I expected, but in a good way. I'm so used to a bunch of filler that the fact Bell cuts straight to the chase was both unexpected and delightful. Good stuff in here, I like it, I can use it, it will make my stories better. 4.5 stars English

Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

English Working on your writing is hard. All I'm doing these days is plotting, plotting, plotting, without ever getting very far.
So I read this for some tips.

Sadly, it's not very useful. It's not that the advice in this book isn't good, it's just that even though the book is relatively short, it's way too long. The reason is that the writing system included can be summed up in a single paragraph.

The book is instead made up of needless examples of other people's writing, way too many of them, so as to really grind the message into the reader when we got the point three examples ago. A few of them are even bad examples.
To be honest, this book is mostly about other things than writing from the middle, since that piece of advice is summed up in fifteen seconds. The rest of it is just filler, about what you should do with all the other parts of the book.
It takes forever to get to the heart of the matter, and doesn't linger there for very long when it does.
It also turns rather wooly when trying (mostly failing) to explain the indefinable concept of a writer's voice, and suggests somewhat New Agey methods to bring on ideas.

Frankly, it's hard to believe that this person is indeed a writer who teaches creative writing, like he claims.
The text is untidy, there are grammar mistakes, and the book has been very poorly edited, if at all.

Here are some examples of those writing mistakes, or possibly examples of sloppy editing that should *not* have been allowed to stay in this book (the fact that this book wants to teach you how to write somehow makes it a lot worse):
- Brainstorm the actions the prove the transformation.
- And once again the Golden Triangle works it's structural magic.
- The rewards to as a writer will be equally thrilling.
- ...knowing the solid triangle of your story give you a solid foundation...
- And the Lead is vulnerable both toughness and love.

The whole book is actually very contradictory in its tone, always emphasizing all the freedom I have, but that his way is the only way, and the writer ironically sums it up very nicely himself on page 59 of the Kindle edition: It's up to you. The important thing is you do it this way. Surely, I can't do it *both* my way and your way?

Needless to say, I'm most reluctant to take any advice from this person.
This book makes me realize even more that there really aren't any short cuts, but that every writer has his/her own recipe, none of which agree with the others. We're all on our own.

Sorry, dude. Talk to the hand. English Wow! For the first time, as a result of reading this short but precise writing craft book I am able to imagine my entire novel in my mind's eye, the full picture, the main arc from beginning to end and everything in-between, and how it all ties together. And that's before I've even written one word. I can see how this insightful instruction could also potentially cure writer's block, as well. Novels will be all the more richer, multi-layered without being complicated, if written with these helpful insights in mind.

I have never been so enlightened by a writing craft book as I have by James Scott Bell's Write Your Novel from the Middle. EVERYONE who writes fiction should have this book! It's not long, but then it doesn't need to be. Jim has hit the nail on the head as to the enigma of what intuitively makes a great read, and not only put it into words, but instructs on HOW to implement this elusive factor into your own novel. If you don't already have a copy, I would say run, don't walk, to get yours! English James Scott Bell has long been one of the most insightful and practical teachers of the writing craft. So it's no surprise this little book is packed full of uncommon wisdom. The approach Bell presents here is that of identifying the mirror moment (or what Stanley Williams called the moment of truth) at the Midpoint in your story.

Doing so allows you to find the heart of your character's arc - and thus your story - before you even start writing. This is a concept that's discussed far too seldom in proportion to its value, and Bell cuts right to the chase. He offers a solid overview of structure, great examples of the mirror moment in popular stories, and some bonus advice in the back.

A must-read for any author passionate about story structure. English Hands down the best book on writing craft I have ever read. I understand things about structure that never made sense to me before. I understand things I never WANTED to understand. Bell has a method here that will end the war between planners and pansters--something we all need. Every other book on writing skirts around the most important element of a novel; trying to tell you how to write it without telling you want it is. Bell captures that; the mirror moment that occurs in the exact center of a story and is crucial to the entire thing. It sounds like a magic trick, and maybe it is, but it explains so many things about my writing process that I never understood myself, blaming it on intuition. It's a short book, which makes it all the better.Reading this will change the way you view your craft, and I guarantee it will make you a better writer. Required reading for everyone. English