Thursday, March 31, 2011

Do More Than SEE the Scene

I have two sticky notes stuck to my monitor. Can you read what's on them?
The yellow one says:
Take out 4 action scenes and replace with one emotional one.
The pink one says:
Must do a better job setting up each scene. 5 senses!

I keep these right smack in front of my face because setting the scene is soooo important, and I confess...I sometimes rush my characters into action too soon.

When I feel this happening, I take a step back and really think about the scene I want to write. I need to put more on paper than just a sequence of events. I need the reader to get emotionally involved!

When you're writing (and revising), look at your sentences. Are they merely statements of what's going on? Thing One did this. Thing Two did that. In CAT IN THE HAT, we find out how those Things made the children feel as they're bumping, hopping, and jumping along. "They should not be here when your mother is not!" Now, that's emotion! And really, if you think about it, we don't know exactly where the Things are at that precise moment. Doesn't matter. What matters is that the scene drips with emotion.

Another way to set the scene is to make sure you involve all the senses. It's easy to describe things by simply using sight, but what in your scene is smelled, felt, heard, and yep...even tasted?

Pick a photograph below and set the scene!

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