You are here:

Writing Books/Young and Writing


Hi, im 16 years old and im really REALLY into writing books. I want to some day publish them and become a real author such as yourself but i have a problem. Everytime im writing a story and i get in the middle, some how i get distracted and quit it and start another. Its a never ending loop! I have like thirty books i never finished because of the fact that ill be typing it or writing it and then ill be like, "Wow... this and this would make a great story!" So then i start on another one. Any adivce to help me? Also im the fiction book writing. And i was wondering about if i ever get pass this loop, how would i get my book out there? I know im young so its going to be hard...

Hi, Danielle... thanks for writing.

Yeah, I totally understand your problem.  For most writers, the middles are the tough part.  After all, we start off with this great idea, excited to get going.  We might even have an idea for a doozy of an ending, but after those first few scenes, we falter.  The excitement wanes.  The honeymoon is over!  Now what?

Well, sometimes, especially with longer fiction, you can’t think of enough stuff to get you to your ending.  Or you might find yourself swamped with choices – about the order of scenes, character change, point of view, etc.

By the time you’re past your opening, you should start imagining where your story is going.  What major event is coming up?  Who will be there?  What will set it off?  And most importantly:  What will you need to establish beforehand, so that event will have full impact on the characters and on the reader?

You should always know what your next big scene is going to be, and always be laying the groundwork for it, right up to the point when it happens.  And you should be constantly thinking of how it relates to your main story as a natural outcome of everything that’s gone on before.

In long fiction, scenes build upon scenes.  The impact of any given scene isn’t isolated, but cumulative.  Often many or all intermediate scenes will be "failures," meaning that heroes will have setbacks.  This increases tension and suspense, but each crisis should also open up new possibilities, fresh opportunities, or hold revelations about the real nature of the hero’s problems.

After each big scene, you should look toward the end, to see if it’s more clear from this new vantage point.  At the very least, look ahead to the next big scene and get ready for it.

Here are a few questions you can keep asking yourself so that you can stay on track in your story.

First: Whose Story is This?

No matter how interested we might be in the activities of Gandalf or Aragorn, Lord of the Rings is still Frodo’s story.  He is the character whose eventual fate defines the plot.  Your story will have such a character, too.

Second: Who is the Point of View (POV) Character?

You might have many POV characters – so long as you stick to one per scene.  Or you might have everything be from a single POV.  Single POV stories are often in the POV of the main character, but not always.  The Great Gatsby, for example, is from the POV of Nick Carraway.

And third: What is the Throughline?

Throughline is the main plotline, dealing with the question, “What happens to the protagonist?”  Obviously, knowing the answer to question #1 (above) will help a lot with this question.  Having a clear handle on the throughline can make middles easier.  It helps you determine which scenes to emphasize.  

Hopefully, this helps you with working on that middle section.  As far as your distractions and wanting to start something new... well... only you can control that.

I'd suggest jotting down those ideas as they come to you and putting them aside until you're done with your current piece.  Just keep telling yourself, "I started this story for a reason.  I felt it was a good story.  Was it, or wasn't it?"  If so, keep working.  If not... well... then you can move on.

Good luck!

Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

©2016 All rights reserved.