Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

5 Tips for Writing Scenes

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

Scenes make up everything in writing….

If you didn’t know well now ya know (Hamilton).

Writing them can be excruciating.   How do you create the right amount of emotion using only words?  I mean it’s not like you can add lens flares, choir boys singing, or dramatic music to your scenes….or can you?  Here are 5 tips to help you write better scenes.

1.   Does this scene even need to be included?

This may seem like a simple and slightly ridiculous question to ask, but it’s important.  Can you story carry on without this scene?  If the answer is yes then cut the scene.  Scenes need to convey something be it emotional development, action that moves the plot forward, or shows some form of character development or show something about the character(s). If the scene you’re planning on doesn’t meet any of that, then it might be best to cut it.

2.    Use the five senses.

Now I know this is a common suggestion but just how in the world are you supposed to do that.  Well here’s what I do using an action scene.

We heard them before we saw them.  The ground thundered beneath our feet; the terrible drumming march of a thousand demons.  My men shifted behind me, their chain mail and armor clinking softly.  The wind shifted and with it came the fetid odor that assaulted the delicate skin of my nose and caused the bile to rise to the back of my throat.  My stomach rolled in violation coating my tongue with the acrid taste of fear.  A fear that I can’t show.  Not if I don’t want my men to flee.  So I swallow it down.  It sticks in my throat and stays there.  I lift my eyes to the heavens.  Even the stars have fled from this ungodly army.  Five seconds.  I give myself over to the fear for five seconds.  After that, I cannot have any other thoughts in my head, not if I want to survive the night.

One.

Two.

Three.

Four.

Five.

I am ready.

From the tree line, gleaming eyes emerge.  They have arrived.  With a roar that turned my blood to ice and my limbs to quiver, the demon hoard descended.  The smell of carrion crashed over the field.  I grip my blade tighter; the sweat on my palms making the hilt slick.  That could cost me my life but I don’t have time to wipe them.  Summoning a roar of my own, I raise my sword to the sky.

“For Mareth!”

My men roar in reply and we surge to meet the black army that we meet with the familiar song of clashing blades and screams of the dying.  It is a good night to die.

 

Did you become the character?  Did you feel what he felt?  That’s what you need to do when you write.  Don’t be the god that observes.  Be the on in the moment.  Think of how you would feel in that situation, let you body feel it then put that to paper.

3. Want a dramatic flare to your writing?  Slow down the pacing.  Or speed it up.

When the character in the above scene counted to five I made each count it’s own paragraph.  That will naturally slow the pacing.  Up until that moment the pacing was much faster.  Play around with the pacing.  The more action you put into a single paragraph the faster it will be.  This can be applied to all types of scenes not just action ones.  In a romantic scene maybe have your characters come together slowly making each paragraph only a few sentences as they notice more, feel more.  It’s your story, have fun playing with it.  The rules that we learned in school don’t necessarily apply.

4. Use music for emotions.

I’m a music lover.  I work better with it than without.  I listen to music when I write.  I have several playlists that are just for writing.  I have my general writing music playlist, but I also have ones that are for spooky themes, villains, fighting, romance.  All the songs in those playlists play up to the emotions that I need.  When I’m working on a scene and it starts to give me trouble I start the appropriate playlist.  I listen to it for a bit and then get right back at it with the right mindset.  So play around on wherever you get your music and create playlists for the emotions that you know you struggle with.

5. Act it out

I know this sounds a bit strange but trust me.  When I get stuck, I step away from my computer and act the scene out as best I can.  This also helps with dialogue.  Acting it out will help you achieve some all too important realism in your writing.  Pay attention to the facial expressions you make when you talk.  What’s you body language like?  Now you might get some weird looks from your significant other, but they’ll get use to it.  My hubby just rolls his eyes and asks if I’ve finally lost my mind every time.  If you choose to apply this method, do so at your own risk or comfort.

 

Well that’s it.  My five tips to help you write scenes.  Do you have different methods that you use?  Let me know by commenting below.  I’d love to hear them!

 

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Greetings My Peeps!

Out of Balance

I have finished my first year of teaching and boy did the rest of my life suffer for it.  Almost everything got pushed to the side while I tried to keep my head over water.  I had no energy to do anything, and I mean anything.  Most nights I came home and instantly went to sleep.  Now bear in mind I got back home at 3:30.  That’s crazy.  I stopped working out.  I stopped reading.  I stopped painting and I especially stopped doing anything writing related.

I felt terrible.

But now it’s summer so I have the time to catch up on the huge pile I have on the back burner.  This blog being one of them.

My third book is due to come out at the end of next month but I’ve done almost no marketing for it.  I have no idea what I’m going to do.

I need a drink and start getting my life back on track.

Until next time my peoples!

Greetings My Peeps!

The Hardest Month of My Life

Jesus, I’m so happy this month is finally over.  I have been running on fumes since Thanksgiving.  My novel had taken the back burner to my job, which feeds my feelings of inadequacy, family obligations and the anniversary of my grandmother’s death.  All a potent mixture that drags me down into my own personal tar pit.  But now that the holiday season is winding down, and I had a few days to myself, I can breath easy again.

Now, I’m not the type of person who makes new years resolutions.  I don’t really see the need in trying to commit to something new just because the year started over.  I try to work on myself throughout the year.  With that being said, the one goal that I made for myself this year (yes I know I just said I didn’t do these things) is to find more balance in my life.  I’m one of those people to always bites off more that they can chew.  I love trying new things and my house is often littered with half finished projects that often get pushed to the side when my life becomes crazy.  Unfortunately, my job (special education teacher) means that my life will always be crazy.  I need to find some semblance of balance with all the loves in my life.

On that note, I wish you all a Happy New Year!  Here’s hoping it will be better than the last.

 

Greetings My Peeps!

I love my new job!!!!

This year, I was able to obtain a new teaching position at the school where I already worked at as a teacher assistant.  Nearing the end of the first 9 wks, I finally feel comfortable.  The first three weeks felt like pure hell and I didn’t feel like a teacher at all.  But now, I’ve found my groove and things have started to settle down.  With that being said, many of my projects, including my novel have had to take a seat on the back burner because I needed to focus completely on figuring out just how in the world was I going to work this teaching gig.  But I think I have it mostly figured out so it’s time to get back at it.

I wish I could share the pictures of my kids with you guys, they are something else.  But I have to respect their privacy.  However, they are the cutest little demons I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  ha ha

Until next time ppl!

Greetings My Peeps!

Which Way Is Up?

Oh dear lord, what a crazy two weeks.  I haven’t accomplished anything and yet so much has happened to me.

I’m written up to the climax of my newest novel Time of Prophecy.  I decided to take a step back and visually story board it.  You see when I write it tends to play out like a movie in my head.  If I’m coming up on a complex or difficult scene, I just let it run in my head and gleam information that way.  It helps a little.  Any who, while I was taking time out for that, the shit hit the proverbial fan…but in a good way.

As many of you may remember, I work as a Teacher’s Assistant in special needs and was working on getting my teaching license.  At the end of the last school year I decided that I was going to stay in special needs.  I love those kids and I love what I do.  So I put out my resume.  When I didn’t hear anything back I started to feel discouraged, but then I got a call from my principal.  The teacher in the other classroom had left and he since he knew I was looking for a teaching position he offered me hers.  YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!  I didn’t want to leave the school because I love everyone there and I have an awesome Special needs team.  So I have all that craziness going on while I learn about the children I’m responsible for and setting my my classroom.

On top of that, I’m currently recovering from having some cysts removed from my ovaries to see if that will help me and my husband conceive.  The incisions still bleed a little when I move around a lot and I’m in the itching phase of healing.

Then, on top of everything else, my husband and I are looking to purchase our first home.  The market is tough and it’s proving difficult to find homes in the area we want.

It was only today that I realized that I haven’t even thought of my novel, writing, or anything else for a while now.  I have to finish writing before school starts and still go through the final editing stage.  I edit as I go.

Thank goodness for coffee is all I have to say.

Later folks!

Greetings My Peeps!

Why You Must Set Deadlines

I have this book, a children’s book, that I have been working on for longer than I should have.  It’s not that I’m struggling with it or anything, it’s just that I don’t have a deadline for it.  The thing is, I only work on it in between projects.  I feel terrible about it.

You see, when I published my first book, my students were ecstatic and wanted to read it.  Their little faces fell when I told them that it was an adult book and they couldn’t.  They turned those puppy eyes on me and begged me to write them one they could read.  Honestly, could you say no to twenty-five ten year olds?

But sadly I have been neglecting this story.  It’s basically done, I just need to finish polishing it and then send it off the editor.

I promise kiddies,  I’ll get it out to you soon.

 

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