Today's Crunch will be a little of this and a little of that. Like trail mix. Or the top of my daughter's dresser (thank you for teaching recycling, 1st grade educators, her garbage can is now obsolete).
In studying the edit, I came across some words of wisdom, that I will now just toss out at you concerning scene structure. Ruminate on them.
Think visually- Write cinematically.
You know your scene. Can you direct it as if it were a movie? Bring in the atmosphere, tension, sound, scent, timing, dialogue. Move it.
Start mid-scene and drop in description later or intermittently.
Write a scene, or find one in need of help, and cut the beginning. You'll know where if you're looking for it. It usually jumps out at me... the point of take-off. Anything necessary for the plot is found another place. Usually a better one.
Heat up the CORE of a scene.
Just like the climax of your plot, a scene should have a point of focus. Find it and make it pop, explode, sizzle, resonate.
Use one POV per scene.
Head-hopping can be dizzying. So far, I use 2+ POVs in my novels, but seldom is there more than one in the same scene. If I do it, there is a specific purpose. Decide on a POV for the scene and stick with it. Challenge yourself to show the other characters' thoughts in their actions and dialogue.
Don't over-explain. Readers are intelligent.
My first novel explained everything. EVERYTHING. I wrapped up every loose end, SEVERAL TIMES, just to make sure the reader would get it. I mentioned every bit of background to explain the character's decision. Then, I embraced this simple guideline. READERS ARE INTELLIGENT. The cutting began. Whack whack whack. Hold your readers up; don't write down to them. They'll get the nuances.
Strong scene endings:
- a major decision is to be made
- end just as terrible things happen
- something bad/amazing is about to happen
- a strong display of emotion
- raising a question with no immediate answer
- Is there a lot of dialogue without conflict?
- Is the scene just a set-up for another scene?
- Is your character's motivation undeveloped?
- Is there too much introspection?
- Is there not enough introspection for the action?
- Is there not enough tension or conflict inside the character? Between the characters?
- OBJECTIVE. Does the POV go after something? Make him, or cut the scene.
- OBSTACLE. Give the POV opposition, inner battle, physical circumstance that makes it hard or impossible to gain his objective.
- OUTCOME. See the above list of scene endings. Keep your reader IN THE STORY. Make them turn the page.
Kate Palmer from Running On Dirt Roads gave me this beautiful award:
Thank you, Kate! Along with the award, I am challenged to list 5 FASCINATING things about myself, then list 5 FASCINATING blogs I think you should check out. Here goes!
1. I once aspired to ballroom dancing. LATIN ballroom, to be exact. Si.
2. I long to speak Spanish fluently, and once came close enough that I was dreaming in the language. Then we came home and I said "Gracias" to the flight attendent in SF and she looked at me funny.
3. I would rather speak in front of hundreds of people than one person I don't know.
4. My first vinyl records were: Donny Osmond, Shawn Cassidy, and the soundtrack to Walt Disney's Cinderella. I would secretly kiss Donny Osmond on the album cover. I was four.
5. I am a Star Wars geek. Episodes 4-6. Also, Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation. And J.R.R. Tolkien. Thanks, Dad.
Here are 5 blogs I find FASCINATING:
Pioneer Woman- Really, have you not visited this woman's world? Escape to hilarity.
Daron D. Fraley- Not only is he a Cody boy, his book, The Thorn, is about to be released! Visit his insightful blog!
Abel Keogh- His story and insight on his blog for widows and widowers is honest, eye-opening, and was assuring to me after tackling a character in my book, The Inn. His books are on my reading list. I look forward to learning how to pronounce his last name.
Writing On The Wall-I visit this blog repeatedly. Even if I've already read the recent post, I can usually find an answer to my writing questions using the topic search on the sidebar. These ladies tackle all kinds of subjects. They have also been great at answering questions through email. Yay!
Bookmom Musings- This is a new discovery and I love it. Jaime Theler is an author, mom, and tackler of anything interesting, informative, and humorous.