By: Rayne Hall
IF YOU’RE WRITING A NOVEL, is there a scene where the heroine is imprisoned or locked up against her will?
Here are some techniques to make this scene powerful.
If possible, make the room dark or semi-dark. Perhaps she’s locked up in a lightless cellar, in a dungeon where only the flames of the torches flicker in the gloom, or in a chamber where the villain has cut off the power supply. Maybe there’s a single window is so high up and narrow that it lets in scarce light.
Solitary confinement is scariest. If your heroine is alone in that room, with nobody to talk to, the reader worries for her. She may shout “Is anyone out there? Can you hear me?” and get no reply. Alternatively, she may have a companion in her captivity – until that person gets led away for execution.
Let it be cold. The place is unheated, the protagonist is not wearing many clothes, the air is chilly, the concrete floor is cold, and if a blanket is provided at all it is much too thin.
Use sounds. Sounds create unease and fear in the reader’s subconscious – perfect for this type of scene. Here are some ideas:
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