It's a new year, writers, and all of us are probably suffering from flabby middles and saggy bottoms. No, we're not talking about your waistline or badunkadunk. If you are recovering from two months of holiday feasting, we understand. But there is also something that we might call literary obesity.

So much work goes into shaping the top of the story that we rarely are able to give time and energy to the two other important parts: the middle and the end. Think about it. When is the last time someone said something nice about your endings? Or, even if your endings are good, it's possible that readers never get there, stuck as they are in the toxic waste that has settled down into the middle of your prose.

So if you need a 2011 writing makeover, let's start things off with a chat. Break out your literary leg warmers. Let's hit the writing gym!

You can revisit this page at any time to replay the chat.