I received my Golden Heart ® pin in the mail today along with an invitation to attend a reception honoring finalists at the National RWA ® Convention. The reception is a recognition ceremony of ALL the finalists the night prior to the awards ceremony and it also explains how the awards ceremony will work (gulp).
What a thrill! It drives home that this is NOT a figment of my imagination but is actually happening. Now, you might wonder if I am prone to imaginings and the answer is heck yeah! I am a writer after all. So scenes play in my head all the time.
For me, I actually imagine my scenes as a movie – not a big screen, mega plex movie, but a made-for TV movie – especially the action scenes. I usually have more than one scene in a manuscript where fisticuffs and blood is involved (Fisticuffs is a great word, isn’t it? Fangicuffs is an even better one – I have to fit that into my next book somehow).
The hard part is translating that scene which makes perfect sense in my head to the computer screen. How much detail do I need to explain what is happening? Too little and the scene is vague. Too much and your action scene is mired in the nitty-gritty and it slows the pace. Finding a balance can be difficult.
I never said writing was easy, did I? Fun, energizing, inspirational, yes, but easy – not so much. So I write the scene and then read it to make sure it makes sense. And then, I have someone else read it. Because let’s face it, something makes perfect sense to the person seeing it. But it might not make sense to the person who it is being described to, right?
So action scenes or scenes with multiple people are tricky and should be reviewed more than once. Action scenes are often a climax point in your book which means it is even more imperative that you get it right. If someone has been reading along for hundreds of pages and you finally vanquish the big bad ugly, you want your reader to understand whathappened, not scratch their head and think ‘huh?’.