Does your scene in your book play like a movie in your head while you write? It takes some concentration and the ability to block out the world around you, but I love it when this happens. I try to focus on every detail, no matter how minute, as I focus on the “moving picture”.
The scene is the unit of story, and in a book usually starts with a character arriving and ends when something has changed. A scene propels the story forward.
- Scenes in a book are anchored in a certain place and certain time.
- A narrative summary can describe the specifics of your scene.
- Scenes usually contain some type of visible action, not just internal thinking from the character.
- Do not use italics for internal dialogue, or what your character is “thinking”. Once the standard norm, the point of digging deep is writing inside your character’s head. This one is hard to break. We’ve discussed this several times in our critique meetings. Next time you read a recent release, notice that italics are a thing of the past.
- Keep the scene and action moving. No backstory in the first chapter (maybe two). Hook the reader and save the backstory for later.
- Skillfully weave your backstory into the story, these can be tension filled scenes into itself.
- End scenes (chapters) with a hook—a punchy, pithy statement.