Saggy Middles

One thing I’ve been coming across lately is saggy middles. The beginning is good, the ending is good… but those hundred or so pages in between are saggy.

Those pages stink. They’re boring. They make me want to put down the book. It’s like the author doesn’t know what to write next, so they’re playing  writing it by ear.

As I write this, I’m reading a Stephen King novel, Rose Madder [I‘m not anymore, but this post will be based on my thoughts while I was reading it].
Beginning: good.
Ending: I dunno, because I’m still stuck in the middle. I’m only halfway through the book (roughly 300 pages), and already I’m sick of it. I’m losing patience. I’m beginning to hate the characters. My reading has slowed right down because I don’t want to sift through the boring. I’ve even considered skipping to the last hundred pages.

Tell me, what are your thoughts on saggy middles?

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3 Responses to Saggy Middles

  1. Wendy says:

    All stories are subjective. What you and I may think has a saggy middle, others may enjoy. If I get to a point in a book, which for a better word is, boring, I usually give it the benefit of the doubt and persevere. After all, the author has probably sweated much blood and tears. Also, if I ever get my own book published, I’d like to think the end would be reached.

    Good post 🙂

  2. Merrilee says:

    Second fastest way to get me to drop an author. 🙂 I loathe saggy middles, and definitely don’t have time to wade through them.

  3. Anna says:

    If I read through to the end (with a saggy/boring/long/dragging middle), it’s rapidly, and I probably miss important details. I’m not inclined to read anything else by that author, though, if the book I was reading was so hard to finish.

    It seems that I had trouble getting through the Dark Tower series. The first couple were entertaining, but then I don’t remember the rest. Possibly, I skimmed the rest or didn’t finish.

    I agree, though, what I find hard to get through, others rave about, so it must be personal preference. I would also hope that readers of my future published novel would finish even if they find the middle less than exciting. (However, if it is that terrible, I doubt I’d get published.)

    If you want to stop, use Wikipedia to read the plot summary, which will tell you what happens, then you don’t have to finish the book. 😉

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