Saturday, January 30, 2010

Adding a Little Seasoning to Your Story

The best lecture I ever sat in on, was the wrong one. The event coordinator had switched rooms, so I found myself sitting in on a Sci-fi screen play lecture. Too tired to go in search of the one I had intended on hearing, I stayed put, and I was glad I did. When writing seeing how other authors write is a golden opportunity, if your not too proud you'll uncover many new writing techniques.
Open the first page of any of the top ten novels in the book store and you will see many different opening scenes on the first page. Flipping through the novels you can see how much attention the writer put in setting up the scenes in the book, some not so much. The setting is an importance aspect of the books, it's what transports us to another world, gets us in the mind and location of the characters. For me, I always like opening my books in the middle of an action scene, a careful balance needs to be struck so you don't take away from the advancing storyline but add to it.
Think about your main characters, if they are outside, how's the weather. Is there a big storm brewing, are they in danger, does the weather sunny vs. raining make they feel happy or sad.
This can also add conflict to the storyline, they have to get across a raging river to reach the killer or victim.
Add description to the main and secondary characters. Is the hero is strapping Richard Gere or a rugged outdoors man type with maybe an injured leg on a cane, or perhaps a depressed ex police officer. Let the secondary characters stand out give they a line unique to them, "alrighty then," get r done, a weird hair cut, anything to add a little spice to them.
In the scene, what is your character doing, is he using his hands, reading a book, flipping through a book, stacking case files, is he sitting at his desk or walking the beat.
Filter the scene through the characters five senses, what does he see, smell, hear, feel, or taste. This is an easy way to beef up your novel.