Monday, November 9, 2009

This Isn't A Discussion!

Morning Folks,

Wow. It's actually overcast today. Maybe it'll do more than sprinkle (which was yesterday) and actually rain. I don't really mind because maybe this means the cold front's on it's way.

A big shout-out goes to Marsha today! Got to meet the Queen of the Friday Flashbacks on Saturday at the NWHRWA meeting. Pretty cool and she fit right in (knew she would). I apologize for her feeling she was back in high school and late for class. Wasn't intentional, but hey, I can't help that there was an accident and made her late! LOL. Be sure to go over to Marsha's Musings to check out her Friday Flashback posts. They rock my socks! :-)

I'm sorry for no weekend posts, but I think I'm going to give them up (at least for now) mostly because my weekends have been quite busy lately and also because my in-laws are in town and they'll probably come over at least once or twice for the next couple of weeks until they go home.

I got ZERO writing done over the weekend because I was super busy. Had the NWHRWA meeting on Saturday morning, then found out a dress I wanted to wear didn't look right and had nothing for a dinner I was going to that night (I needed something dressy). I did end up finding something at JC Penney and the dinner was fun and very good. On Sunday my in-laws came over.

Anyway...onto today's post topic...

I'm referring back to Todd Stone again on this (just in case you need a reference point).

Todd Stone says that when you're planning or writing out a scene (drafting it) you don't want your characters just talking or discussing you want each of your scenes to have power.

So how do we "power-punch" a scene?

Get rid of the discussions. No more talking. A lot of people can talk and discuss. But you want them having action and things going on. You want your readers to get to know your characters.

It doesn't do any good to have:

Clark talked to his Dad about his problems.

Sure. They could talk. But it makes the scene flat. What if Clark and his dad don't see eye to eye? You don't want to say:

Clark talked to his Dad about his problems. They didn't see eye to eye.

That's TELLING! And remember the golden rule of writing: "Show don't tell."

Or what if you had:

Zora discussed her feelings for Clark with her mother.

Hmm...what do we know about Zora? Well, other than the fact that she talks to her mother, and has some kind of feelings for Clark we have no idea. What if she was falling in love with Clark? Or what if they were having problems? Or what if she didn't like Clark at all?

How would you change these two situations to make sure they are alive and showing rather than telling?

That's the same thing you do with your own scenes. Todd Stone says, "If you write that your characters talked, then that's exactly what they'll do. If you say your characters discuss something, then all you have is a discussion."

You want to make sure every scene is meaningful. Todd Stone says you need to have "your genre heartbeat in every scene."

So if you're writing action, have an action heartbeat, if it's romance, you need that one, if it's paranormal or fantasy have that. Whatever is your "genre heartbeat" that's what needs to be reflected in every scene.

What methods do you use to make sure your genre heartbeat is there?

Personally I focus on the "other-worldly" and relationship to make sure my paranormal romance heartbeat is alive and thumping.

Have A Momentum Monday!


Marsha Sigman said...

Hey Bethany! Thank you so much for inviting me Saturday! I had a great time and it was very interesting. I definitely plan on going back.

Great tips today, now I have to go back and make sure I don't have all my characters just hangin' out and gabbin' too much.lol

bethanyintexas said...


LOL we've all been there. And I'm glad you plan on coming back. They're a great group of people and I always have so much fun.