Part 2 of your novel
This entry focuses on the second part or 25 to 50% of your book, also called the Response.
Let’s examine first how the second part would play out in a romance novel. In the second quartile the protagonists address their interest in each other. Despite initially making some progress and spending time together they ultimately scare each other away or aggravate each other.
Everything seems to be going rosy until the first pinch point, which takes place 37.5% into the novel story. At this point the main antagonistic force becomes visible, which in romance novels is often some internal conflict (e.g. trust issues, jealousy, addiction, low self-esteem) but can also be a threat posed by a third party, particularly in the suspense and paranormal romance genre.
Antagonist= person/force against main character
It is important to establish clearly for the reader how the threat influences the relationship between the main characters. Does it bring them together or pull them apart, why and how?
The end of part two is marked by the midpoint. Externally, there should be visible signs of commitment that the lovers have made. In contrast, internally the author should demonstrated the changes that have not taken place yet but are necessary if the relationship is to work.
Overall, the second quartile has more of an up-beat vibe that is until the antagonistic force shows up at the first pinch point. The midpoint raises the stakes for the protagonist and also introduces new information that changes the behavior and awareness of the main character and reader.
It is important to note that the main character is not heroic yet. In fact he/she is rather passive in the second part, choosing to retreat and analyze the situation.
While this might not be the most exciting part to write or read, it is very important. Both goals and stakes of the story should be strengthened and the tension can’t decrease. The first pinch point helps to inject an element of drama into this part.
Even though the hero/heroine is rather passive it is important to show their commitment to the theme of the book. The reader should understand the goal and the motivation of the protagonist and receive at the very least an inkling as to who the antagonist will be or the main obstacles in the way of the protagonist.
As your write this part, ensure that all chapters are like links in a bracelet fitting tightly together, their sequence making sense. Furthermore, establish the purpose of each chapter. Every single chapter and scene for that matter, needs to have a unique purpose, it can’t be duplicated.
For example if you have two chapters that each feature your protagonist going on a date with Mr. X, they can’t be both just to demonstrate how much the protagonist likes Mr. X. The first one can show her affection, while the second could focus on him requiting, or not, these feelings.
I hope this entry is helpful for you when you write your second part. While this part might not be the most exciting one, it is essential for a good novel. An author needs to ensure that every single part, chapter and scenes is “the good stuff” so that the reader doesn’t abandon ship.