The Deadly Middles (Songs of the Summer God)

  • Post category:Writing
Because stories.

This is a Musefic to help me work out the kinks in the Inheritance short story. Thus spoilers!

“I like the beginning, I like the end, but this middle!” The Writer glared at her desk on which the offending short story marinated. “Oh my god, the middle.”

“You have an outline,” pointed out her Muse from her sprawl on the couch. “You made me help with that as I remember.” She was busy reading through the pile of old abandoned stories. “Ooo, how about this! Bringing Sarah Home instead?”

“No, I’m finishing this one.” The Writer picked the printout up and then put it down again. “Somehow.”

“Fine, fine,” said the Muse and reluctantly put down the other stories. “What scenes do we have left?”

“Mellie building the trap, Shel getting chosen by the Golden, and I probably need to rework all of the bits with the three of them.”

“That’s not even most of the middle, so what’s the problem?”

“I’m not sure any of this is going to make any sense!” The Writer sighed. “Look, I’m not really explaining anything in the story about the Binders or the Goldens or the magic or the difference between Death and death–”

“Still not sure that should be capitalized.”

“–whatever.  There are too many ‘why’s left and I’m not sure where or how to fit them all in.”

“So stop, back up, and grab a highlighter.” The Muse reluctantly got up from the couch to hover at the writing desk. “Now highlight in the draft every time you mention something world-specific that the reader wouldn’t have context for.”

That took considerably less time (and a lot less yellow) than the Writer had feared.

“Now just make sure you explain those things, at least enough to make the story flow.” The Muse patted the Writer on the head and wandered back to the couch. “You don’t have to give them the farm, but at least describe what cows are.”

“Hmm,” the Writer eyed the scenes that were left to write. “I could fit a lot of that in here,” she dotted the scene where Shel was chosen.  It’s supposed to be a short sum-up though, might have to shift things around.”

There was a thoughtful, if slightly stumped, pause.

“Mellie building the trap would be a better place,” the Muse said after she realized her Writer was never going to figure it out on her own. “And you need to keep things chronological, so you really should rough out a timeline. I think Shel’s choosing actually comes before the trap.”


“If it’s any consolation, at least you realized something was wrong.” The Muse dug around in the box of old stories. “You sure you don’t want to work on A Song For Vacuums instead?”

“Dear Muse, I hate you. Love Me.” Grumped the Writer as she tried to rearrange the scenes in Scrivener. “Although I will admit that having the outline helped.”

The Muse made a noncommittal noise and settled into to read.

And the Writer got back to work…

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!