By: September C. Fawkes
Over the last six months or so, I've learned a few new things about writing scenes. Today,
specifically I'm going to share some techniques that can tweak your
scene here and there to make it more interesting and to keep it from going
stale. They are, expand, deepen, and create motion.
As some of you know, I work for David Farland, so his writing tips and lessons obviously have an impact on me, which is why I make sure to mention him right there on the right-hand column of my blog. Well, one of his writing
tips led me
to come up with the contents of today's post. This is just like a little
hypothesis of mine that has developed over the last few months.
In one of his writing workshops, Dave talks about how in Hollywood, film makers never want to use the same set twice, if they can help it. In one scene, the protagonist will be in a hotel, in another on a boat, in another in an alley. Even if the film takes place in the same castle the whole movie, they will try to put each scene in a different part of the castle--one in the dungeons, one in a tower, one in the entrance hall. We can do this with our scenes in novels too. Instead of having three scenes in our protagonist's kitchen, maybe we want to see if we can move one to a coffee shop and another to the zoo. By having each scene take place in somewhere different, we not only keep the setting interesting and fresh, we expand our setting. We are making our protagonist's world feel bigger.
Obviously, this isn't a rule that all stories should adhere to. Some scenes need to happen in the same room. And using repeated settings can create internal resonance, a "sense of history" (like I talked about in my last two posts), and cultivate nostalgia. Almost all of Harry Potter takes place at Hogwarts, and readers love returning to it. (With that said, keep in mind how many different rooms and places Harry still goes to at Hogwarts. It's big and it's varied.)
But Dave's advice on setting crossed paths with a few other things that were going on with my own writing, and I soon realized that the advice doesn't just apply to setting. I started seeing a lot of other ways to expand and deepen scenes. So that's what I'm here to talk about today. Like I mentioned with Dave's writing tip, the following are not rules that every scene in every story should adhere to, these are just techniques to consider. They're great to turn to if the details in your
scene feel stagnant.
. . .
Read the full article HERE!
If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
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- September C. Fawkes, 15+ Tactics for Writing Humor http://ow.ly/LUKzQ
- September C. Fawkes: Expand, Deepen, and Create Motion--the Three Tweaks that Keep Details Interesting http://ow.ly/LUKPL
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QueryTrackerBlog: The Query Process: laughably bad rejections http://ow.ly/LUT37 Writability: Favorite Online Writerly Resources Roundup http://ow.ly/LUTgq
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