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on 27 July 2015
A slim, read-in-one-sitting book containing one original-ish idea and several rehashed ones. The original-ish idea is that each novel has a ‘mirror-moment’ of reflection (what am I becoming? Or the odds that face me are overwhelming) at its centre, and this moment defines what the story is about and anchors all the scenes before and after it. Scott Bell doesn’t prescribe that you must start planning or writing with the mirror-moment. He suggests, however you work, know that moment is necessary and test your story against it. I found midpoint mirror-moments in the novels I’ve written, but I’m not sure the idea will be much help to me in planning the next one.
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on 2 October 2016
I can't recall when I bought this book on Kindle. Months, maybe a year ago. Maybe longer. An impulsive buy but until today I never got beyond that.
I'm a nonfiction writer by trade but contemplating NaNoWriMo... so I surfed through my library to see if anything might inspire me (counter the fear & sense of ridiculous of such an undertaking, more likely)
I found this. Write Your Novel From the Middle. Surely no more ridiculous than contemplating NaNoWriMo?..
So I read it. This afternoon. Swiftly. With increasing enthusiasm and head-nodding.
The idea is genius and simple to see
(1) how it would work - for the author
(2) make for a far more powerful novel - for the reader

Too late I started highlighting the flurry of wonderful tips and how to's.

Time to go make dinner and re-read the whole thing again, pulling from it everything I can.
(it's only 93 pages but I'm guessing I'll probably end up with almost as many ideas, helpful directions and inspiration..)

Suddenly NaNoWriMo doesn't seem so personally ridiculous after all...
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on 18 July 2017
An interesting concept. This book helps to simplify what can appear to be problem areas. Packed with good advice to aid those who, like me, are still learning.
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on 1 September 2017
I have often thought of writing a book but never have as I always knew my story was missing something. This book describes that something and how to find it. As soon as I stated to think along these lines I found the story would almost construct itself. Invaluable advice.
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on 5 April 2017
A slightly different take on story structure, simpler but sound, which for me gave a useful combination of plot and character. Easy to read style.
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on 14 May 2017
An enlightening read. Easy to folllow with a novel take on the construction of your novel.
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on 7 July 2017
Nicely condensed and straight to the point. It gave me both ideas and inspiration.
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on 2 March 2014
I would STRONGLY recommend this neat little miracle of an ebook. JSB's triangle theory is nothing short of simple genius, and has clarified much in the four previous hours I have been studying it and making notes.
A concise, understandable and friendly guide to what you REALLY need to know.
You've tried the rest, they didn't work, you haven't even read them; do yourself a favour and download 'From The Middle'.
If you're serious about novel writing and actually intend to STUDY this book and take it seriously, you won't regret it.
Also recommended is JSB's Reader's Digest book and plotting.
A wonderful and wise investment, which, I'm sure, will pay dividends.
Now, I have to do some writing - once I create my own character triangle.
Thanks JSB.
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on 13 July 2015
It has some useful advice for the aspiring writer but there are better books on the subject. The title should have put me off; when I start to write I have to build on my opening, the middle is too far away
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on 7 October 2014
I give this five stars for doing exactly what it promises. The book is short, sweet, and to the point. I finished it in two sittings; and then I opened my own published novels, found the precise mid-point, and found that fleeting moment when something happens to shift the direction of the story. I never thought about this until I found it, right there at the midpoint of each of my novels. I think this means, essentially, that intuition can be powerful in writing a novel; but also that 'intuition' can be planned.
In his research that formed this theory, Bell found, almost without exception, that there is such a moment of epiphany in every good movie he has examined, and every great or good novel he has analysed.
Now he tells the young writer how to formulate a successful plot, starting from the mid-point. I'm not sure that it can be forced: but I am sure that when that fleeting moment of epiphany falls into place, it works well in the dramatic arc.
I always enjoy James Scott Bell's instructional writing. He is fun to read, and he has a lot to say.
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