Wednesday, May 9, 2012

05/09/2012 Writing Wednesday!

Good day everyone! I'm glad to see everyone back for another day, and I hope this week is seeing you well. So far this week has not been meant for sleeping well, but that's an acceptable loss when not having constant headaches from stress. For now though, let's talk about something nice shall we?

Today I wanted to look at scene changes. Now this may seem like something rather simple, but to the reader if this is done wrong it can be incredibly jarring. Aside from dialogue, scene changes are most likely going to be the most frequent thing in whatever story you write. This is where your descriptions and your exposition come into play, and there is a delicate balance that must be made in order to do this correctly.

One of the most frequent scene changes are going to happen between chapters, for example when at the end of chapter 5 the characters are on a train somewhere, and chapter 6, they make it there. (Unless of course you wanted to have some kind of running gun battle on the train, if that's the case, then by all means, be my guest.) What you'll need to do at the very start of that new chapter is to show the reader the characters are somewhere else. Think of it like you're looking at a picture, just tell them what's in the picture and how the people are interacting with it, but you also need to give them some kind of build-up because if a scene change is too drastic/sudden it can cause the reader to be confused and fee like they missed something.

Some good practice to handle scene changes is actually to work on Dream Sequences. These are going to be sudden changes, at least very likely, but they're also going to be very different between whatever the dream is and the waking world. This helps you work on descriptions, interactions with the world, and if you want to have some fun throw some symbolism in there too! Dreams also help with backstory, like if your character has flashbacks, or there's some kind of event they don't particularly want to talk about with the other characters, but you want to show that it has affected them greatly.

There's also the flip side where if you put in too much description your reader will fall into the TLDNR (Too Long Did Not Read) mentality. A good example of this is really anything by Nathanial Hawthorne, not to say I don't like his work, but there are times when you're on the third or forth page of a description of a dress you start wondering how much is really necessary. There is a sweet spot, and finding it is really going to depend on your writing style. It's going to take practice and work, but this is a thing that exists, not like dry land at all.

I hope this was helpful, and that I didn't fall into the TLDNR category. Another reminder that 'The Light Rises' is still $1 until the end of May when you use coupon code AW99C at Smashwords. Please check it out and tell your friends! I'll be back on Friday for my weekly review!

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