From the Publisher’s Desk

Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Fiction, Literature, On Writing | Comments Off on From the Publisher’s Desk

From the Publisher’s Desk

Scene and Setting: Writing in A Void

Sometimes when I’m writing, I get so excited about the plot events, that I forget the rest. By that, I mean sometimes the action happens in a void.

I think it’s very easy to forget that, as writers, we are responsible for every nuance of the reality of the story, every aspect of the world in which we write. The burden then becomes two-fold – detailed enough to keep the reader’s attention, but not laboriously so, as not to slow down the pacing of the story. The second challenge is consistency with internal cosmology (you know, things like gravity). In many stories this can be taken for granted. A romance tale will not necessarily have to deal with aspects of time dilation because no matter how in love the characters are, they aren’t going to be travelling faster than light.

That said, the supporting characters and the world they live in must be internally consistent. If Old Jim is a toothless storeowner, he must always be a toothless storeowner, unless there’s a reason – preferably on page – for him not to be. But you know all this, and I digress. Back to the void.

When writing a critical scene, a plot point as it were, it’s important to draw the moment out, to slow down time. Think about the air quality and light quality the characters exist in. Is it raining? Is it night or day? Are they standing or sitting? On what? Is there background noise? What is making it? Do they know? Have they been there before?

Answering just to of these questions will change your scene from a plot point to a pivotal moment of story.

What are your techniques for avoiding the void?

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