i'd planned to post writing tips this week while the contest was going on at clarity of night. here it is friday and this is my first writing post. :( part of it is that i'm not very good at explaining the nuts and bolts of writing. i tend to look at things in a more zen way, and how do you explain that? it's kind of like learning to play an instrument. you learn chords and notes, but after you get them down you don't have to think about where you put your fingers.
here's something i put together, and now i don't even know if it's anything, but i'm calling it finding the heart of a scene. rambling! it's just rambling!!
If a scene isn't working, I always look for the heart of the scene. Often it isn't what's happening on the surface, but what's going on underneath. Once you find that the scene will often take off.
One real-life example of how this can work:
Say you're going to the grocery store. A simple chore. But a trip to the store is never just a trip to the store, because you are bringing your brain along with you. Hopefully. And your brain is processing and worrying and dwelling on a lot of things that have nothing to do with groceries.
This is also where you can use character and POV to enhance a scene that might really just be what I call a bridge. A way to get from one place to the next. Maybe you need to reveal a piece of information. Of course you don't want to overdo this either. Balance, pace, mix it up.
This kind of thing can really backfire. I've seen writers put a character is extreme danger and suddenly decide to have him take a little mind stroll. This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine in romance. If two people are in danger, gunshots going off all over, the heroine really shouldn't be thinking the guy has a nice ass.
does anybody else have any tricks for finding the heart of a scene?
okay, the grocery store was a bad example. argh. i'm not suggesting you send a character to a grocery store and let his mind fill in the backstory. the actual scene has to have purpose to begin with. it has to drive the plot forward externally as well as internally.
does any of this make sense?