By Michelle Griep, @MichelleGriep
Just because you’ve written a scene doesn’t mean you can pack away your computer and grab yourself a brewskie. Guess what, little writer? Your work is NOT done. There are some questions you need to ask yourself after each and every scene you write . . .
1. What was the conflict in this scene? Were the stakes dire enough?
If you can’t identify a conflict in your scene, delete it. Yeah, that’s harsh, but cut the fat and get to the lean mean story. No one wants to read about characters who don’t have problems. Readers want to punch those kinds of characters in the head.
2. Was your point-of-view character a force to be reckoned with or was he a piece of day-old toast?
If your character doesn’t grab your reader by the throat and shake him around a bit, then he’s meh. And you know what a meh character is? Death to the book. Spice it up, folks. Make your character interesting and active, someone who forces the plot to move forward, not the other way around.
3. Why did you care about this scene as an author? Or were you bored with it? Why?
If the scene you just wrote doesn’t interest you, it won’t interest the reader. If this is the case, go back and lob a hand grenade into the scene. Throw in a unicorn. Rip out the heroine’s heart and stomp on it. Do something that makes you (and the reader) care about the scene.
4. What will happen tomorrow when you sit back down to write? Where will the story go? And what will happen if the story doesn’t go that way?
Sure, it’s great to map out your story so you have a general guideline to follow. It’s also great to know what you’re planning to write next time you sit down. But now and then, go for uber great by mixing the plot up a bit. Take it in a direction you never intended for it to go. You don’t have to keep what you write, but more than likely you will because it will excite you about a new direction.
I’m not going to lie . . . going through these questions each and every time you finish a scene is time consuming. In the long run, though, it will be worth it.
Cut the fat and get to the lean mean story. @MichelleGriep on @NovelRocket #writing http://bit.ly/2eNDUid
Imprisoned unjustly, BENJAMIN LANE wants nothing more than freedom and a second chance to claim the woman he loves—but how can CLARA CHAPMAN possibly believe in the man who stole her family’s fortune and abandoned her at the altar? Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve Days of Christmas, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters . . . and what matters most is love.
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, Undercurrent andGallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.the next level.