Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Writing tip 2 of 100

Wow, close call! Almost messed up on the second day. But never fear, I beat the midnight deadline.

My second tip is "Enter the scene late and leave it early."

Enter the scene late. What does that mean?

So many times as authors we want to set up the scene we are writing. We have to tell where the scene is taking place, who is there, what the back story is. We want to prepare the reader for what is to come. The problem with that is it's generally pretty boring. Instead, try jumping right into the scene. Of course as a reader I want to be able to visualize what's happening, so I will need some clues pretty quickly. But you can do those in context.

So instead of writing:

Michael, walked into the restaurant, his hat and coat in hand. He had promised to meet Julie at 7:00, and it was now 7:30. If he hadn't had that long work meeting, everything would have been fine. But now he was wet from the rain storm outside and nervous that Julie would have left already. He looked around the room and saw her seated in a small booth with several empty glasses in front of her.

(See how boring that is.)

Try this:

"You're late," Julie said, her words slurred.

Michael, slipped into the both--his hat and coat dripping on the restaurant floor--and noticed the empty glasses on the table. He checked his watch--thirty minutes late.

"I, uh, had this meeting."

This pulls you into the story and gives you much of the same information, without feeling like the authors is hitting the pause button on the plot to fill you in.

Tomorrow, I'll talk about leaving the scene early.


David Glenn said...

That'll be interesting to try.

Garrett Ray said...

Thank you for the tip! :D Very helpful!