Sudden Unexpected Middle Section Rewrites

I always knew the middle section of Space!Story was kind of slow.  I didn't really mind, because I felt it was a good way for the readers to catch their breath before building up to the finale.  However, I sent it off to my betas knowing deep in my heart I had one bloated and boring middle....

...aaaaand I tried to get away with it.


Last week I finally faced up to the fact that I wouldn't have to cut a bit of dialogue here and there but rather rewrite the entire section.


The. Entire. Middle. Of. My. Book.

And as is always the case, once you start to trim a little, a whole aspect of the plot collapses and your edit becomes a rewrite.

So, what did I do?

...Ran away and played my violin instead.

Perfect way to clear your mind

...I just wanted to step aside for a moment, get my thoughts in order, be sure I knew what I wanted to do... and then I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

So, what are my top tips for Sudden Unexpected Middle Section Rewrites?
  1. DO IT. If you know it needs to be done, get to work!
  2. Keep any sections you may want to adapt for the new version in a separate document.
  3. Keep a back up of your entire previous draft in case you want to go back to it. Never delete old versions! You never know when they might come in useful.
  4. Grudgingly accept some of those awesome sentences and moments you wrote just have to go.
  5. Read over it once you've rewritten it to make sure you haven't lost any major plot points.
  7. It might be scary, watching your word count plummet, but remember - it's for a good cause! I lost 8000 words this weekend, but it feels goooooooood!
How do you cope when a massive chunk of your book has to be rewritten?

(Oh, and yes, I still love Space!Story!)

(Yes, any excuse to use a Star Trek gif)


  1. Awesome GIF choice. :) Sounds like you've got a solid action plan for your story.

    I've been alerted by my betas that certain large chunks of my stories middle are unnecessary, or at least, they don't currently fit the flow.

    When revising, I started out fast on the opening chapters... then crept slower, and slower, and slower the closer I got to the dreaded mdidle. I'm still creepin'. I'm terrible.

    I really just need to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

    1. Why thank you ^_^

      I did the same as you - flew through the first chunk of the book and then came to a screeching halt in the middle... should be all back up to speed for the end, though :D

      Go for it!

  2. I've been there, definitely, with pretty much everything I've ever written :) Sounds like you are getting things done - yay 8000 words!

    1. Same for me. I thought I could dodge it this time, but no ^^;

      Thanks! :D

  3. Blah. I'm facing the same situation right now. I have a couple portions of my WIP that hit plateaus. Lots of info, but not much happening in terms of action. I've spent the last couple weeks mixing those scenes around, experimenting with integrating them in better ways, and rewriting. It's frustrating, because it feels like a step in the wrong direction, especially since I'm not done drafting yet. But for the sake of keeping all my plot threads straight, I knew it was something I had to tackle now before making the problem worse (see #1 on your list). I find #4 to be the hardest to deal with. Trimming words and tightening up the ms does feel good though! Best of luck with your rewriting, and thanks so much for sharing your helpful thoughts on this! :)

    1. #4 *sucks*. I've had to give up some of my favourite scenes because, like you said, whole lot of info, not a lot of action. And if I can use one chapter to tell what previous took five, well, those words just have to go.

      Best of luck with your rewriting! :) Hope it works out for you soon.

  4. Oh, probably the hardest part is biting the bullet and doing what you've known all along (and tried not) to do. I still have to add more and tighten up my book, but it looks like you're well on your way. Good luck!

    1. It definitely is, but once you do it, things have a way of coming together.

      Good luck with your edits :D


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