This is a series of posts for aspiring writers, established authors, and anyone inbetween. To take a look at what goes into a novel before, during and after it is written. Please feel free to comment if you have helpful advice that will contribute to making this post more beneficial to everyone out there. Or, post a question and I’ll try to find an answer!
If the title of this post seems a little general, that’s because it is. What about scenes? Yeah, they’re what make up a book, so what?
Well, last time I posted on characters, focusing primarily on POV and getting to know the people leading our story. How we write our characters helps establish the effectiveness of a book.
The same goes with scenes. Every scene in our book is important and how we write them will ultimately establish the effectiveness of our book.
Scenes are what drive our novel. They progress the plot.
Here are a few tidbits I’ve picked up along the way about writing scenes that I’ve found helpful.
1) Make sure every scene in your book has a point. If the scene is not progressing the plot then it’s probably not necessary.
2) Try to introduce something new about the character(s) in each scene. This will help develop your MC and keep the reader interested.
3) Insert some conflict. Conflict is what drives a novel. A little tension in each scene will make interest endure.
4) Find a good balance. Character thoughts vs. description vs. dialogue. I find when there is a lot of description or there isn’t action propelling a scene, I start to skim. I look for “white space”. I want dialogue or movement.
5) Less is more! If you only need two or three paragraphs to explain something, don’t use a whole page. Use the rest of that page to develop character, to add some action.
6) Write in a way that compliments the particular scene. If your character is running for their life, don’t stop to describe the size of the cobblestones she’s running on and approximately how many feet she has to run to get to the other side of the street. We’re in the middle of the action here. Short sentences, to the point! Make us feel that rush of adrenaline. If the character is having a flashback or lingering in a memory, it’s okay to be a little more verbose. Describe what something looked like or felt like.
A bit of each of these in each scene or most scenes of a book will also help keep the entire book balanced so that it doesn’t start off quick and interesting, then falter a bit in the middle before it gets interesting again at the end.
I know all of you writers out there have other tricks you use to make a well balanced and interesting scene, so please leave your comments!