Monday, August 4, 2014

Writing 101: The Power of a Single Scene

If you can paint a strong enough picture with just one scene, and get that important point across, you can save yourself a whole lot of writing work. Harness the power of a single scene, and make it work for you.

A Quick Word

I've made no secret of the fact that I'm deep into editing mode lately, but what I haven't mentioned is that I took a break from the book. It wasn't intentional. Work piled up on me, and I've had no time for much of anything but sleeping and working. So I ended up being away from editing for about a week, and it changed everything. I learned that there's a lot of power in a single scene...and I saved myself a lot of rewriting.

It’s essential to paint a complete scene for readers, or else they can’t really get inside your world. I realized, in re-reading my newest manuscript, that one of my characters was repeating a specific behavior. The problem is, I wasn’t completing the scene. Each time, I kept skipping right over an important detail about this behavior. So I made myself a note, and the other night I was all prepared to go through the entire novel and complete each and every single scene involving this particular behavior.

Then I realized I could do it with just one scene. If I explain it well enough just once, I won’t have to repeat it several times throughout the book. That’s the power of a single scene. If you get it right, and make it resonate with the reader, you won’t have to repeat information. You can give it to the reader just once.

Don't add a bunch of repetition to your book if you can give the reader the information they need with just one strong scene. A single well-written scene will have a bigger impact on readers than finding a dozen different ways to give them the same information. So focus on making each scene strong, giving the readers what they need...and eliminating what they don't. Isn't that what editing is all about? 

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