Day 12 of Stay Warm and Write Month

Hi all – 12 days in and our tip comes today from the author of The Bellwether Revivals, Benjamin Wood.

Image of Benjamin?Wood

Choose Your Moment

The personalities of your characters will emerge best in scenic time- that is to say, in dramatised moments of exchange, in which characters can act, speak, behave, and interact directly with each other. But that doesn’t mean every moment in your characters’ lives is scene-worthy. Many stories I read as a creative writing tutor are blighted-bloated, even-by flat, undramatic, irrelevant scenes which would be better summarised or edited out.

As a writer, you must develop an instinct for which moments to explore and realise in scenic time, and which aspects of the story are better summarised or left out altogether. Ask yourself: what do I want this scene to show to the reader? How do I want the reader to feel when this scene is over? If you can’t answer those questions, you could probably summarise the moment. Then ask: is this information important for the reader to know? Does it alter or add anything to the reader’s perception of my characters? If the answer to those questions is ‘no’, you should cut what’s there and find a more expressive and revealing moment to explode and develop.

Benjamin’s book will be published by Simon & Schuster in February. Follow Benjamin on Twitter: @bwoodauthor

Join us at our January LWC event with the agent Juliet Pickering on January 24, full information here

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