You've got a novel with an awesome plot and vivid writing. Your characters are deep, I'm talking multi-faceted wonders, baby. They damn near stand up and walk right off the page and pat you on the back for a job well done. You've got style, you've got voice, and you're ready for the big leagues, right?
Sometimes, an author kicks ass and takes names for the first 100 pages of his novel. But then something goes awry. Maybe he's too busy, too stressed, too impatient. The writing becomes tired and littered with filler material. He powers through it and, from out of left field, the writing picks up again. As he nears the end of the book, it comes back to life. Life is good again, magic is happening, and the rest of the novel is hot, hot, hot.
Unfortunately, by then it's too late. You came through in the end, but it doesn't matter, because you've already lost the reader.
You can have a great beginning and a great ending, but if the material in the middle sucks, nothing else matters. Maintain your focus every step of the way, but if you lose your rhythm, it's not the end of the world. That's what why we rewrite and revise. Pay attention to every page of your book. Make sure each paragraph shines with your original voice. The key to great writing is consistency: you can't just write great sometimes. You have to write great consistently.
Manuscript Downer #1 : Consistency [Paper Cuts! Glorious Paper Cuts!]
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