Photo by Alyssa L. As a writer, how do you develop mood in a short story or in the chapter of your novel without telling? In other words, can you make your readers feel something without writing like Stephenie Meyer or E. The twenty-three year old narrator feels he has already washed up and has exiled himself to a sparse town in the deserts of northern Mexico.
Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! Rosenfeld October 11, Any story or novel is, in essence, a series of scenes strung together like beads on a wire, with narrative summary adding texture and color between.
A work of fiction will comprise many scenes, and each one of these individual scenes must be built with a structure most easily described as having a beginning, middle and end.
Visually, in a manuscript a new scene is usually signified by the start of a chapter, by a break of four lines called a soft hiatus between the last paragraph of one scene and the first paragraph of the next one, or sometimes by a symbol such as an asterisk, to let the reader know that time has passed.
Each new scene still has a responsibility to the idea or plot you started with, and that is to communicate your idea in a way that is vivifying for the reader and that provides an writing action in fiction lets dance, not a lecture.
Scene launches, therefore, pave the way for all the robust consequences of the idea or plot to unfurl. Start each scene by asking yourself two key questions: Where are my characters in the plot? Where did I leave them and what are they doing now?
What is the most important piece of information that needs to be revealed in this scene? Only you and the course of your narrative can decide which kinds of launches will work best for each scene, and choosing the right launch often takes some experimentation. Keep in mind the key elements of action: It takes time to plan a murder over late-night whispers; to cause an embarrassing scene by drunkenly dropping a jar at the grocery; to blackmail a betraying spouse; or to haul off and kick a wall in anger.
They are sometimes quick, sometimes slow, but once started, they unfold until finished. The key to creating strong momentum is to start an action without explaining anything: The lack of explanation for what is happening forces the reader to press on to learn more. The action gives clues to the reader: The characters are led into a room full of wildly decorated salads that one character is uncertain whether he should eat or wear, which gives a sense of the environment—probably chic.
Clearly something more is going to happen in this environment, and judging from the tone of the paragraph, we can probably expect irony and humor.
To create an action launch: An outburst, car crash, violent heart attack or public fight at the launch of a scene allows for more possibilities within it. Do have a bossy character belittle another character in a way that creates conflict. When his face turned pink, horror filled her.
What have I done? In large doses, narrative summaries are to scenes what voice-overs are to movies—distractions and interruptions. The afternoon before, I planned how I would tell her.
I would begin with my age and maturity, allude to a new lover, and finish with a bouquet of promises: I sat in my apartment drinking Scotch and planning the words. The above bit is almost entirely narrative summary, and the only action—drinking Scotch—is described, not demonstrated.
There is no real setting, and the only visual cues the reader has are vague and abstract. However, the narrative summary does demonstrate the nature of the character, Caroline—she feels she must butter her mother up, bribe her even, in order to ask for something she needs, which turns out to be a relatively small thing.
In just one short paragraph of narrative summary, the reader learns a lot about Caroline, and Ward gets to action in the next paragraph: Georgette stretched lazily on the balcony.
Below, an ambulance wailed. A man with a shopping cart stood underneath my apartment building, eating chicken wings and whistling.
A narrative approach is best used with the following launch strategies: Sometimes actions will simply take up more time and space in the scene than you would like. A scene beginning needs to move fairly quickly and, on occasion, summary will get the reader there faster.
Sometimes information needs to be imparted simply in order to set action in motion later in the scene.Let’s pretend these are absolutely the best possible patterns for writing fiction. Let’s pretend these are the keys to writing the perfect scene.
Let’s move on and look at each of these in turn. Writing Tense Action Scenes Posted on November 28, by Joe Moore I’m pleased to welcome to TKZ my guest, Jodie Renner, freelance fiction editor and craft writer. Get Our Best Fiction Writing Tips For FreeSign up for exclusive tips & strategies not found on our blogInvalid email address Unsubscribe at any initiativeblog.com for subscribing!
Understanding your fiction genre, and its subgenres, lets you alter and conform with confidence. How to write a novel scene? How to write fanfiction? Learn how to write any scene for your novel. Decide what sort of dance you want to write. Will it be a ballroom style dance or pop/rock style dancing?
You could always write something like swaying/rocking/stepping in time to the music. Example 4: That was when I decided to let ago. Action writing moves the reader along at a fast pace and uses a lot of active verbs with very little description.
Learn how to use it in fiction. Fonda Lee, author of debut novel ZEROBOXER and experienced fighter, shares how to write realistic and satisfying action/fight scenes.