making a scene

How to make a scene.

Every story (and all its components) assumes a basic contract between the writer and the reader – readers want a world they can believe in, characters that matter, and stories that invite and compel them to care.  It is up to the writer to provide all that and more.

At the most basic level you must help your readers to know where they are, who is there, what they’re doing and when the action is taking place –all in a way that feels effortless and natural.

Your scene set-up may be accomplished in a sentence or two, a paragraph, or longer – but keep in mind that you must peak your readers interest right away and then keep them hooked. If your reader feels lost they’ll lose interest. If things move too slowly or if the set-up and what follows feels contrived, they’ll quit and switch to television.

Here are some basic guidelines for making a scene:

Start in the middle of things and pull your reader into the story, introduce your characters doing or saying something which will give your reader the feeling of being in the heart of the story.

Skip small talk and meaningless or overwrought details. Include what is essential to the story and illuminates character development. Present the action as if it is unfolding on stage.Make sure that the story keeps momentum, don’t let dialogue stray from what is important, don’t let descriptions interrupt forward motion, and remember conflict, conflict, conflict.

 

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