Friday, May 22, 2015

Write the Scene

Writing a scene seems straightforward enough, but I want to journey past the basics and  into a few other areas of scene that have been on my mind.

If you've been in my online class the basics are not new. You have permission to eat donuts while I review scene and ignore sequel for today. Please save me a maple glazed donut.

The Basics of Scene:

The goals of scenes are to elicit emotion and move your story forward. 

Just like your book has GMC (Goal, Motivation & Conflict) , your scenes have GCD. 

Structure of Scenes:

Goal->Character wants something
Conflict ->2 characters with incompatible goals
Disaster->hook, unexpected development

In many inspirational and sweet romance novels the conflict and disaster are what is called "low tension." The conflict provides enough worry factor to satisfy the reader, but generally does not involve world peace. The disaster at the end of the scene can be as simple an internal monologue of worry or "what am I going to do now?"  Or it can be a real "gasp" hook as in suspense or action novels.  Varying your disaster in each scene provides more interest for your reader so they don't predict what's next.

And remember that disaster is why you do not end your scenes with going to bed. The reason we end with disaster is so the story advances, the tension increases and the reader keeps turning the pages. 

Additionally, every scene asks a question: Take the scene goal and turn it into a question. Will xx get xx? The character should always be in worse shape at the end of the scene than at the start.

 An example of scene GCD:

  • Goal: Daisy wants the land that borders the river and plans to purchase it today after selling her cows at market. (The scene question is, will Daisy get the land?)
  • Conflict: She goes to the claim office and discovers the price on the land has gone up.
  • Disaster: Not only that, but Cade (her mortal enemy) tells her he intends to buy it and the only way she can have that land is to marry him.

Cheesy, but you get my point. 

And here are some real disaster scene endings from books on my shelf- notice the variety of different types of tension in the disaster endings.

The fire engine’s horn sounded before the vehicle pulled away from the curb.Maggie shook her head, willing herself out of the daze that had wrapped itself around her.
“I’m simply going to have to stay out of his way,” she murmured. “Because Jake MacLaughlin is an exceptionally dangerous man.” 
Safe in the Fireman's Arms-Tina Radcliffe 

The doctor looked up from her crouched position. "Less than ten years, and these markings on the rib cage-" she pointed at the tiny lines "-are lacerations made by a knifelike instrument. It would appear a crime has occurred on your island, Sheriff Grant. And my assessment says it's murder." 
 Grave Danger-Katy Lee 
 Reel wondered if Robie was still coming after her. She wondered if right now he regretted not killing her.
Her phone buzzed. She looked down at the screen.
Will Robie had just answered her.
The Hit- David Baldacci

And yet, once again I will mention my post 7 Things You Need to Stop Doing Now as I reference scenes with no goals.

So, if ham and cheese on rye with the hero is your only scene goal, the conflict better be that the waitress hates your heroine and wants the hero and the disaster is she poisoned your heroine.

Resources for further research on Scene:
Scene & Structure-Jack M. Bickham
Writing the Perfect Scene –Randy Ingermanson

 And just for fun here is Joanna Penn from the Creative Penn talking about how she writes scenes.

I've laid the foundation. Now let's talk about a common practice I see with newer writers. If you think I'm talking about you, you're right and wrong. We've all been there and done that. and have the shirt. 

Writing Around the Scene 

Writing around the scene usually occurs when your hero and heroine are about to share the stage in a monumental way. The writer leads you up to the scene nicely and then stops right on the edge of the precipice. 

The next thing on the page is either hours later, the next day, or worse, reflection by one of the characters on the scene that we never saw (this reflection is called sequel btw).

Don't do that. Why? Because you are cheating your reader and subconsciously making them very cranky. Allow me to explain.

Scenes are live.

Everything you say happens in a scene must play out in real time. TIME IS REAL IN EACH SCENE. -Michael Hauge

 Yes, we all use techniques to show the passage of time, however that is used to avoid the stuff readers skip over, like sleeping, showering, using the loo.

BUT passage of time techniques must never, ever cheat your reader.

Every scene is not only going to provide GCD (Goal, Conflict, Disaster) and advance your story, but it also is an opportunity to endear your reader to your protagonist. To get them into the skin of our character. To make them root for your hero/heroine. Make them care. It's also an opportunity to elicit emotion. 

When you make your readers part of the journey then they think about your characters long after they close the book. 

Now on to more sticky scene stuff....

A while back Mary Connealy mentioned the fear that writers have as they sit, hands poised over the keyboard ready to tackle a difficult scene. Let's address that because again, it's another writerly phenomena we all experience.

Fear of Writing the Scene 

We are neurotic writers who talk to people in our heads, and our fears include:

  • Fear of the audience
  • Fear of the editor
  • Fear of ourselves
  • Fear of the art

This begins with some basic neurosis as you self-talk.  

What if I can’t get what’s in my head onto the paper?

Who am I to tell this story?

What if I fail?

What if it’s misinterpreted?

What if they don’t hear it, taste it, feel it as I do?

What if I freeze in the clutch?

What if they find out I'm a fraud?

What if my editor hates it?

What if I get one-star reviews?

The first step toward writing past your fear is to IGNORE YOUR HEAD. (AND STOP READING REVIEWS -You know who you are and yes, I am talking to you!)

You are not alone in your fears, so just go ahead and write the scene.

The writer does not know what he knows. You must remain with a difficult scene for as long as it takes to dig deeply into yourself and discover more of what you know. You not only complete the scene, but add to your store of writing skill.

The "short breath" writer is facile and easily discouraged. When he exhausts what he knows, he rearranges and never learns anything new. He repeats and re-repeats. The "long breath" writer plunges deeply until he finds what he needs. He emerges from the depths of "self" with new material, new techniques. He learns from himself.

Dare to Be a Great Writer-Leonard Bishop

Now I leave you with a thought provoking technique to consider when you sit down to write your next scene:

Every scene has a "hot spot," the moment that the rest of the scene is built around. One way to determine the best length for a scene is to locate that moment and draw a box around it. Then read backwards from there. Read the previous paragraph and ask yourself whether or not it  (or all the sentences in it) contributes to that hot spot. Then repeat the paragraph before that and repeat the process. By alternating the traditional linear reading, you get a more objective perspective of each line and are able to cut those that interfere.

Novelists Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes-Ray Obstfeld.

Here's the promised quiz for today:

Which of the three areas I mentioned today do you struggle with? What's your greatest fear as a writer? 

Are you afraid of critiques? If not, then let me know you want to be considered for a critique of a scene. No longer than ten pages. Two names will be drawn and announced in the Weekend Edition.

And if you're a reader, I'll give you this triple header in print or Kindle-all three if you haven't read any of them, or just the ones you haven't read.

And you have another chance to win Safe in the Fireman's Arms, and Healing the Lawman's Heart here on Soul Inspirationz.


Terri said...

Tina - I always love your posts and would be delighted to win a critique.

Mary Preston said...

I'm a reader. Thank you for the insight.

Keli Gwyn said...

Graphophobia. So that's what I suffer from, is it? Not every day, but more often than I'd like. It's kinda nice knowing I'm not alone.

Thanks for the great tips, Tina! You rock!

Cindy W. said...

Awesome tips Tina! This is a post I need to come back to later and make sure I visit all the links.

Have a blessed day!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Bettie said... much information. You are a great teacher Tina. I have your books (and enjoyed them) but you can put me down for a critique if I can redeem it after several weeks of rewriting. I am definitely a rookie at this writing stuff.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Well, Terri you sweet thing. The check is in the mail.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Good morning Mary Preston. What's going on in your part of the world. Winter there?

Tina Radcliffe said...


It's like fear of jumping in Keli. Which explains why I like editing so much.

A story that is already started excites me. A blank page? TERROR!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Cindy W. Good to see you. Where are you on your writing journey. Time to share.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Bettie. YOU SURVIVED A TINA CRITIQUE. Already proud of you!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Anyone who survives a Tina Critique deserves a medal... on top of the virtual shout-out!

Tina, we really should order MEDALS, HONEY. :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sometimes I forget the obvious. This post is a great reminder of Keep It Simple, Stupid and I need that as I attack some revisions... and re-thread.

Living My Own Wednesday Post!

Tina, thank you for this!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Keli Gwyn, darling, is that all you suffer from? You are one of the few sane among us! :)

Jackie said...

Hi Tina,

What a great post! Definitely a keeper I'll refer to time after time. Thanks!

I'd love to be entered for the scene critique. Thanks!

Janet Dean said...

Tina, this post rocks! I need to review every point, they're so great.

I think the temptation to write around the scene comes when the scene will require me to dig deep, not only with research to get it right, but emotionally. When I'm tempted, I know that's the most important scene to write.

Hot Spot is a term I've never heard, but can't wait to examine my scenes and work backwards. In your study of this, what were typical hot spots in the scene? Hot spot makes me think of conflict, but maybe that's too simplistic.


Preslaysa Williams said...

Wow, I loved this post. I especially enjoyed the point about finding a scene's hot spot and working back from there to see if everything fits. I'd like to be entered in the drawing for a critique of WIP :-)

Mary Hicks said...

Tina, great post!

I've already watched Joanna Penn, she's good.:-) And my copy of 'Techniques Of The Selling Writer' is frayed on all four sides. I refer to it daily.

Please throw my name in for the draw!

I'm off to look at the other links—thanks again! :-)

Jill Weatherholt said...

This great stuff, Tina. Thank you so much! I've printed it for future reference.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

Barbara Scott said...

Tina, you really spoke to me in your last point. You wrote, "The first step toward writing past your fear is to IGNORE YOUR HEAD. (AND STOP READING REVIEWS -You know who you are and yes, I am talking to you!)"

Yep, that's me. Fear of failing. Fear of success. Fear that what I've written is pure dreck. You get the drift.

Despite that, I just finished the first novel (97,000 words) I've written in over 20 years, finished the edit, and I'm now working on the dreaded proposal.

The only cure for fear is to do it afraid. That's why God's most frequent message in Scripture is "Fear not." So hang in there writers!

Sign me up for the critique, Tina! We can all use a second opinion.

Have a great day!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks for saving me the maple!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Medals!!! Good idea!!! Purple prose medals!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Oh, Jackie! You are sooo brave! You are in!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I love that hot spot technique too! Never considered it.

Connie Queen said...

I think my fear is not having a hot spot. There are scenes that are essential from the very beginning--the ones you look forward to writing. Then there are the go-between scenes where the goal/conflict is less obvious.

When building for the next big punch, I'm afraid I'm boring the reader to death and she'll put my book down to clean lint between or toes and never pickup my book again. I get bored easily and am afraid my readers do too.

Marianne Barkman said...

Hi, TINA. I'm still wondering if you ever sleep?! Th weather here is a gorgeous 80. Flowers are blooming. Fuzz is blowing. Have a great day! Oh, yes, the post is good.

Rhonda Starnes said...

Tina, you have perfect timing. I really need this post! I've been struggling with a few scenes in my Blurb to Book manuscript, which isn't good with a deadline breathing down my neck.

I only got to skim the post this morning, but I'll be back after school to give it a more thorough read through.

Myra Johnson said...

This is an amazing post, Tina! So right on and such important advice for writers of all levels! I certainly am taking notes!

Neurotic writer confession: My biggest bugaboo is, "What if they find out I'm a fraud?" No matter how many books I've had published or how much contest success has come my way, I still let myself question too often if it's all a fluke.

LOVE what BARBARA SCOTT said: "The only cure for fear is to do it afraid."

Tracey Hagwood said...

What a great post Tina!

Together With the posts on 7 things to stop doing right now has me thinking if I hang out in Seekerville long enough, osmosis may kick in and I might find a writing voice yet :) maybe kidding, maybe not!

Happy Friday all!

Sally Shupe said...

Tina, love this great post! I am going to keep it for review and check out the links. One of many struggles is writing around the scene. I think I would like my name in for a critique.

This part spoke to me today: "The next thing on the page is either hours later, the next day, or worse, reflection by one of the characters on the scene that we never saw (this reflection is called sequel btw).

Don't do that. Why? Because you are cheating your reader and subconsciously making them very cranky." I am afraid I will make readers cranky if they were to ever read what I write. I have so much to learn. Thanks for these great tips and insights.

Mary Connealy said...

I'll go try again Tina but all I got from the first read through of this was blah, blah, blah DONUTS blah, blah, blah

Mary Connealy said...

ps I love maple frosting.

I always call it caramel
They always correct me
but c'mon, that is CARAMEL. A farm stronger 'sale' word that maple, especially right now when all I know about maple is there are so many of those whirlybird seeds on my lawn it's probably killing my grass.

also PS I'm dieting, there are NO MAPLE/CARAMEL donuts in my future.

Aren't we talking about donuts?

Oh, writing. Got it.

Jeanne T said...

Tina, I loved this post. And the part I'd never, ever thought of before? Boxing in the hot spot of each scene to see what should stay/go. LOVE this. I'm definitely going to be doing this as I revise and edit my MS.

Super post, as always.

And I'm always in for a critique. :)

kaybee said...

Tina, this is something I struggle with. My crit partner is really good at scene, sequel and structure, so that's what we're working on this year. I knew about "tea scenes" from Janet, but guess I had to be reminded about "going to bed" scenes. My people do go to be with conflict in their hearts and minds, but maybe they still go to bed too much. Anyway, this is what I'm working on and this post helped.
I would like to win either a critique OR books. I'm not greedy or anything...
Kathy Bailey

DebH said...

my main problem right now is getting BICHOK. I need to send in my Speedbo prize of a critique to you Tina. I just need to tweak the chapter first (hoping to do this weekend if the five year old can stay distracted with his Godfather long enough). I do not wish to miss out on a critique.

other than that, I think my problem is writing around a scene. I don't really have a fear of writing, my fear is I will neglect my family while attempting to pursue publication. THAT's my uber struggle - to give myself permission to go forth and write. *sigh*

As always, this post is an awesome addition to my Seekerville education process. Yay!

Mary Connealy said...

Tina quoted me.

I'm a little weepy.

DebH said...

p.s. Mary C - your humor always seems gets me. good thing no one is in the office today to wonder why I'm suddenly laughing like an idiot...

Mary Connealy said...

I've GOT to stop letting my characters sit around chatting.

(No Tea Scenes-Janet Dean)

But they're talking about IMPORTANT STUFF, still.

I'm frowning. Tina has chastised. me. :(

Mary Connealy said...

Barbara: Fear of failing. Fear of success. Fear that what I've written is pure dreck. You get the drift.

This is so so so so absolutely true. Fear of failing, fear of success. Pour that fear out onto the page, along with a lot of gunfire.

I don't know how you folks can write books where you don't get to shoot someone.

It gets to TRICKY if you lose that element.


Mary Connealy said...

Barbara: Fear of failing. Fear of success. Fear that what I've written is pure dreck. You get the drift.

This is so so so so absolutely true. Fear of failing, fear of success. Pour that fear out onto the page, along with a lot of gunfire.

I don't know how you folks can write books where you don't get to shoot someone.

It gets so TRICKY if you lose that element.


Mary Connealy said...

DebH, this is why writing is a solitary business.

Not because it's impossible to talk and write at the same time. (Well, not JUST because of that)

But because if you start laughing out loud at the computer, well, I think people get all judgy.

Shame on them.

Julie Lessman said...

"The first step toward writing past your fear is to IGNORE YOUR HEAD. (AND STOP READING REVIEWS -You know who you are and yes, I am talking to you!)"

YES, PEOPLE, STOP IT!! I totally agree with Tina on this, although I don't have much experience with it ... ;)

You little brat -- yes, I know I'm one of the ones you're talking to, and I am happy to report that I am WORLDS better than in the beginning ... which probably brings me to everyone else's normal level.

EXCELLENT post, my friend, even if you did pick on me and other poor unfortunate 1-star review addicts. :)


Julie Lessman said...

TINA ASKED: "What's your greatest fear as a writer?"

Not liking my characters, because if I don't like 'em, nobody will. :|


Tina Radcliffe said...

You are in Preslaysa. Another brave woman!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Ha! Mary Hucjs, my copy is full of sticky notes.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Fat fingers. That shd have said Mary Hicks!

Jan Drexler said...

Oh, Tina. I needed this today!

I'm s-l-o-w-l-y learning these basics. Just when I think I have scene writing down, I go back and read the last scene I wrote on my WIP.

Yes, I needed this post :)

And my greatest fear as a writer? That I won't continue to improve. I don't want to settle for an "okay" manuscript. With each story I want to build on what I learned with the previous stories.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Haha, Connie Wueen, I think when they start picking lint out of their navel you are in BIG trouble!

Sandy Smith said...

Fear of writing the scene sounds like me. You gave some great ideas for what to consider when writing scenes.

I am currently reading Safe in the Fireman's Arms. I'm not very far into it, but am enjoying it so far!

Sarah Claucherty said...

As an avid reader, feel free to toss my name into the hat for the giveaway :)


I'm a mentally-visual writer, and scenes play out in my head like a moving picture before I write them down. (Sometimes this happens with my research/academic writing, too, which is kinda trippy. ;) At times, I worry that what I see in my head won't translate to the page well.

I'll be saving this post and visiting the links later. Thanks, Tina!

Connie Queen said...

Connie Wueen here. LOL. I just started reading Safe in the Fireman's Arms. So sweet!

I want to say thanks again for all the lovely gifts from Seekerville. I share w/my family so I can spread the joy.

Chill N said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pepper said...

Wow! Thanks for this great post, Tina!

Right now I suffer from 'fear of book#2" :-) Is that a valid fear? in essence, it's fear of failure in myself to complete another book in the same series under deadline and at the same (or better) caliber as book 1.

Your post is a great reminder for not only meaningful scene development but also careful pruning of the voices in my head :-)!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks, Jill. You two. BiG writing weekend!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Barbara Scott! Love your new profile pic! 97K!!!!!!! oh my gosh!!!!! Go you!!! That's two Love Inspired contemporaries!!

Chill N said...

A super post, TINA. Thank you for the encouragement and guidance. I recognize all the fears -- and really like that last quote.

My copies of the Swain and Bickham books are worn, highlighted, marked and tabbed. Haven't seen the other books but plan to explore the links now.

Don't enter me in the drawing. I have two of them and am ordering the other.

Nancy C

Tina Radcliffe said...

Marianne! No. I do not sleep! We miss you. 82 today in Phoenix!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hey , Rhonda! Glad you found it useful!

Tina Radcliffe said...

My biggest fear is .......Who am I to do this?????

Tina Radcliffe said...

Do you write too, Tracey. That's it started with Kav, you know. Reader..reviewer... Now writer Diva! You could be next!!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Lololol, nailed you, Lessman!!

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Tina,
Thanks for the post. I'll have to hang on to this one. I'm working on finishing a story for the Blurb2Book contest with Love Inspired (Historical team), so I would not say no to a critique. :) Then again, I rarely so no to books either. :)

Happy Trails,
Crystal L Barnes

Barbara Scott said...

Mary Connealy, it was SO satisfying to shoot my bad guy near the end of the book. Warmed my little heart.

Pam Hillman said...

I have to force the rough draft of every scene on the page. There really is truth that you can't fix a blank page.

I enjoyed Joanna Penn's video. Loved her accent! :)

Now, back to staring at a blank page. Sigh.

Mary Connealy said...

Nancy C that's a great comment about reviews. And really true. That's not how I pick out books either.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Lol. Well then, Sally, for sure putting your name in for a critique!!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

On the floor laughing, a Connealy! Mailing you donuts right now!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Jeanne, you are always so brave!! You have earned a merit badge or two in Seeker critiques!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Lol, Kathy Bailey! If you don't ask, you don't get.. Right?

Tina Radcliffe said...

It's tough when the kids are little, Deb H. Which why alllll the Seekers sold with an empty nest.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Connealy, I'm weepy just THINKING about me quoting you!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I'm with you, Jan Drexler, I want every book to be better than the last!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks, Sandy Smith. Hope the book is fun for you.

Tina Radcliffe said...

You are in, Sarah C!

Tina Radcliffe said...

See, thanks, Connie.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Well said, Nancy C. If I read a review to decide to purchase I read the best and worst and find a middle ground.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Pepper, congrats on being eligible for that fear!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Big grin for you, Nancy C! Thank you.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hi, Crystal!! Great to see you! You are in!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Mary has turned Barbara Scott into a murdering writer like her!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Pam, I agree, and I so love editing. I love her accent too! lOL

Sherida Stewart said...

Great, Tina! You provide lots of information I need to study. Your "hot spot" idea is what I will use to look at a new opening I'm trying to write. And, yes, I'm afraid to write the scene. My biggest fear: "Why did I think I could do this...write a story that touches someone?"

I'm afraid of critiques, but please put my name in anyway. I know I need to learn much more AND to conquer my many fears.

Thanks for the doughnuts...I'm helping myself to the vanilla frosted one with sprinkles.

P.S. Safe in the Fireman's Arms made my heart smile. So many "quote-ables" expressed in just the right way. Loved everything...and can't wait for a return visit to Paradise. When is the next one scheduled for release?

Tina Radcliffe said...

Pam, I agree.. I live to edit!!

Rhonda Starnes said...

I'm back, and I've had time to reread the post at a more leisurely pace. I loved the Leonard Bishop quote. I need to print that off and tape it to the wall in my writing nook.

My struggle is fear of writing the scene. Is it suspenseful enough? Does the romance seem forced? Does the plot seem rushed? Yeah, you get the idea.

You asked, "Are you afraid of critiques?", I like living dangerously! ;)

Gotta go be relentless!!

Debby Giusti said...

Great lesson, Pam. A keeper for sure!

Debby Giusti said...

Great lesson, Pam. A keeper for sure!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Tina, I love the quote "Ignore your head." my my, if only I would follow that advice. LOL

Have a great weekend.

DebH said...

I forgot to mention, I wouldn't mind being in the draw for ANOTHER critique (glutton for punishment?), but it's probably be better to sign me up for a shot at either Missy or Ruthy's books.

Thanks again for this post. It's going to be very useful to me as I plod forward - I can tell that already.

Tina Radcliffe said...

You are in, DebH!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Lol, Sandra! I'll remind you! Three day writing weekend!!!!! woot!!!'

Tina Radcliffe said...

You are in, Sherida! The next one is January 2016! Thanks for the kind words!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

You are in, Rhonda!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Pam?? Deb this my post! ha!!

Heidi Robbins said...

I'm not a writer, but as an artist I struggle with fear of the art and fear of the audience. And I guess fear of myself- that I won't be able to create what I'm envisioning.

I'd love to win the trio of books! Thanks!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Heidi! I had no idea you were an artist. You have to tell us about it!!!

CatMom said...

Excellent post, Tina (you deserve an entire box of Maple donuts!).

I have your book (*smile*) and today ordered Ruthy's and Missy's, so no need to enter me.

Thanks for ALL you do to help us and share your knowledge (and donuts, hehehe).
Hugs, Patti Jo :)

Walt Mussell said...

I love the Bishop quote. I need to look at few scenes relentlessly. :-)

Donna said...

I'm mad that I didn't get here earlier. And I know that chocolate donut with the white stripes is gone!

Ninety-five percent of my fear is, 'What if I can’t get what’s in my head onto the paper?' the other five is 'What if it doesn't translate.'

I love "Time is real in each scene"!
Headed now to reread 7 Things You Need To Quit Doing Now and the other links. Thanks for such a great post!

Please enter me(erased and retyped twice).

Tina Radcliffe said...

And here's irony for you. I just got my edits on the next book from my editor today..she said to WRITE THE SCENE.

Tanya Agler said...

Tina, I have a question about your post and it's rooted in my very new WIP. Can a scene have a GCD (Goal, Conflict, Disaster) where things get worse for the non-POV character? In other words, can things get worse for the hero during the heroine's POV scene rather than get worse for the heroine?

Thanks for this post. Let's see the three things I struggle with: writing the scene (2 of 4 kids are now off for summer vacation with the other 2 starting next week), what if they don't hear it, taste it, feel it as I do, and making my reader cranky.

Thanks for the reminder about goals, conflict, and disaster.

Mary Curry said...

Gosh, Tina - you make it sound like .... WORK!

Seriously! LOL

And then Graphophobia

Does admitting it give me a brass ring?

I've been avoiding writing a scene all night.

*sigh* busy weekend ahead writing many scenes I would rather avoid. Writing around them is fun. Writing them is work.

I will stop whining now.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Well Tanya, good question. I don't know but my gut says that you should always be in the POV of the character for which the most emotion is going to be elicited. How is are we going to be able to elicit emotion from the non POV character if he is the one for whom disaster strikes?

We always pick a POV character according to who has the most at stake. I am going to post an article in the WE ED for you.

Ultimately however you must decide. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Donna! I saved you a donut. It's a little hard but you can dunk it in hot cocoa!

All valid fears, Donna.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hi to my Southern pals, Patti Jo and Walt!

Where have you guys been?

Tina Radcliffe said...

I know, Mary Curry. Right now anything seems possible. Must take a nap first.

Natalie Monk said...

This post is filled to the brim with gems of wisdom!

I'm bad at wanting to write around a scene instead of digging into the circumstances and pulling a fun or gripping situation out of it. I can think of one such scene in my MS right now, and I dread having to go back and write it in, since I'm already way over word count (even though I've deleted two subplots) and still have another scene that needs filling out. :s I guess that's my writing fear of the moment, haha! Cutting this thing down to size.

Thanks for another great post, Tina!

Edwina said...

How do I fear thee? Let me count the ways! (Not you, Tina, but those scenes!)

Rockin' awesome post!

Since I'm still writing nonfiction - so close to being finished I can almost see the pinprick of light at the end of the tunnel - please put my name in for the books!

jubileewriter said...

I always appreciate a critique unless it changes my voice. I can always learn something from those extra set of eyes. Even a critique from a non-writer has value. A reader has to feel the scene and empathize with your characters if that isn't happening its an excellent tell of a place to fix.
Throw my name in teh drawing for a critique.
Cindy Huff

Robin Mason said...

great post! thanks for the good info. I would be happy to have a critique of my writing.

Dana McNeely said...

Tina, I won your critique during SPEEDBO. I thanked you when you sent it - but that was before I read it. Now, having read it twice, I want to say that your suggestions were terrific - made me think about ways to deepen the writing without changing my story or my voice. Your questions also alerted me to places where I was unclear or confusing. You are a wonderful critiquer!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks Dana.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Names were picked before midnight for critiques. Check the weekend edition. But Friday, May 29th is the Contest Update and we'll be giving away more critiques!

Missy Tippens said...

Tina, this was a fantastic post! I'm just a day late reading it because of my daughter's graduation (and tons of family here).

I look forward to going back through and re-reading!