This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. The prompt today is “middle.”
The middle of the story is a difficult place to be. It’s a place of uncertainty, of tension, a place with several strands of plot moving forward, seemingly unrelated, where you sense they may be connected but you can’t see how.
Looking back, you search for clues. How have we got to this place? What can we learn from the events of the past? How do they inform the present and the future or show us what we should expect from particular situations or characters?
Looking forward, you speculate about what will happen, but really you just want to know. Is it a story of triumph or tragedy? Will good really win in the end?
The middle of the story can be a messy place. It’s a place where you have to move forward, doing your best, attempting to “improvise faithfully” as Ron Martoia describes it, without certainty over how it will turn out.
At times like these, it’s helpful to remember the bigger story: to remember the faithfulness of the author and his promise that somehow it will all work together for good, to hold onto the fact that although the middle may be uncertain, the ending is not in doubt, to remember that we’re not alone in the middle because the author entered the story to redeem it, and he walks with us every step of the way.