Writing the knockout novel: pt 4 – RWAus14

Crucible:  arena of conflict


What binds the two combatants together?


  • Reason the bad guy keeps going
  • Is not going to give up

Moral or professional duty to continue (eg police, detective)


Eg The Odd Couple

  • Friends but very different
  • Felix is suicidal as his wife has left him
  • Oscar, as his friend, it the one who agrees to keep an eye on him


  • Casablanca
  • Misery – variation, he is incapable of leaving



  • Can`t escape yourself


Write your novel from the middle

  • James Scott Bell


Midpoint (of story, may not actually be)


A look in the mirror

  • Who am I?
  • What have I become?
  • What MUST I become?



  • I am probably going to die
  • Look at self, find inner strength to carry on


In a movie, go to the mid point of time and have a look around



  • Rick drunk, has remembered Paris
  • Midpoint is when Ilsa walks in
  • She tries to explain why she left him
  • He insults her and she leaves
  • He has a moment of loathing himself, put his head down on the table etc
  • Point where he looks at himself, what he has become – decides what he wants to be
  • Goes on to sacrifice himself


The Fugitive

  • Kimball in hotel
  • Police arrive, he thinks it is for him
  • Another man is arrested for drug dealing
  • Breaks down, realisation that he can`t win
  • Has to find inner strength to keep going


Lethal weapon

  • Gibson playing suicidal cop, doesn’t have strength kill himself, so keeps getting into dangerous situations
  • Danny Glover about to retire, wants to stay alive
  • Midpoint is discussion after Gibson goes to dinner with Glover`s family
  • Opens up – the only thing he has ever been good at is killing people
  • Film is about the transformation of that character back into society


Looking at books, turn to the middle


Gone with the Wind

  • Scarlet is looking at Tara, realising that Tara is worth fighting for
  • Accepts the challenge to fight


The Hunger Games

  • Katniss is having a moment
  • Accepting that she is about to die


Character psychology before the story begins:

Moral flaw to be overcome?

Ordinary person getting hammered by circumstances?



  • Transforming
  • Becoming stronger

Your thoughts and stuff

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