Astonishingly, one week of looking up solutions and trying to pick the best one hasn’t completely solved my saggy middle problem. (Side note: does anyone else really not like that term? It’s kind of gross. But I don’t know any alternatives that are equally evocative.)
Currently my manuscript has two plots, A plot (murder) and B plot (not murder). In general that will be enough to flesh out a novel. However, because I’m such a concise writer and I want my characters to be happy, it takes me a few rounds of edits to get there. Right now it looks a lot like “They find the murder, B plot crisis, B plot solution, maybe a bad thing?, solution to murder is found, happily ever after.”
So right now my goal is to just finish the first draft. I think I have enough seeds in the manuscript to grow it into a full-length novel, but first I need to hit ‘the end’ to get the full shape of it.
It seems that no matter how hard I try, I’m going to be a pantser who needs a large number of editing rounds to get to the final draft of a manuscript.
At least I’m a writer!