Only the Reader Starts from the Middle

You hear this advice a lot.

Start your story in the middle.

For me I can’t follow this advice when I’m writing, because without full context and premise, I get lost easily in my own work. I have found that other writers have a similar problem.

So why is this such popular advice?

Mainly, this advice stems from the fact that when your reader holds the finished result of your story, it will start in the middle of the trigger event, and not really in the events leading up to it, since they were already edited out. It just saves you time editing to start in the middle.

The difficult thing is that when you are writing for a genre like High Fantasy or a Non-Fiction piece on history, where the beginning events are necessary. But what if you don’t write in these genres? Can you still edit your beginning?

Actually yes, and it doesn’t have to reach your first draft. As you go through your planning, get out a few extra pieces of paper. Write at the top “Story Premise” and write down what you think the beginning of the story is up to the even that the readers will see as the beginning. At the bottom you can write “And this is how it started. . .” The best think is that you get to write this however you want. An outline, a timeline, or a mind map can work here.

This makes it the best of both worlds. You get your beginning and so does your reader. Also if you cut out your beginning but your editor thinks it’s needed, it’s already prepared for you!

So, are you the type that needs context but are you the lucky one who can just jump right into the middle of it? Let me know in the comments below!

Keep on Writing!




One thought on “Only the Reader Starts from the Middle

  1. I tend to jump into the middle and write the story, then realize the context as I’m writing and go back and add it in. I feel more productive this way, even if it involves more edits, because at least this way I’m getting something down rather than sitting and staring at the screen waiting to figure it all out.

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