In other words, have you used the same setting many times before, have you had similar conversations or too many scenes between the same characters?
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Is the scene in question advancing the story? Developing a bond or conflict between characters? My first novel started as a telenovela for the Latin American market. When I translated my soap opera to English and formatted it as a novel, I had tons of scenes like these no wonder my novel was over , words! A good test is to evaluate if your novel will suffer if you remove a particular scene.
Readers are smart and will catch up with the action without you having to overexplain how things came to be. As a critique partner, I have noticed that many writers are very resistant to deleting superfluous scenes. I think it has to do with the fact that these scenes become familiar to us and it becomes harder to envision our novels without them.
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What do you think? Do you have an emotional attachment to your scenes or are you ruthless when it comes to evaluating and getting rid of them? Lorena Hughes was born and raised in Ecuador. She has worked in advertising, graphic design and illustration, but her biggest passion is storytelling. You can find her on Twitter at twitter. This article was originally published on The Writing Sisterhood blog, and is reprinted here by permission of the author.
Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Seems odd, I know, but technology is influencing the way we read and write. What is the purpose of a scene? By asking this question for every scene, you can determine if a scene should be in your story or not. Sometimes I get carried away writing a scene, and before I know it, it has turned into something unexpected.
Let me know if the comments below if you have any questions. Fictionary is online software that simplifies story editing. Fictionary will help you evaluate your story on a scene-by-scene basis. Sign in. Get started.
5 Signs of a Strong Novel Plot
Fictionary Follow. Characters Most likely you have at least one character in a scene.
Plot Each scene will have a beginning, middle, and end just like your overall story. Setting The scene must take place somewhere.
Self-Evaluating Scene Endings and Novel Structure - Fictionary
Triggers For Starting A New Scene Just to recap, a good time to start a new scene is when one of the following changes: POV character Characters in the scene Storyline Scene location Time Your reader will be expecting some kind of change, so this will help the story flow from one scene to the next. The Writing Cooperative A writing community and publication focused on helping each other write better. Tell Better Stories. The first online tool for editing your story, not just your words. The Writing Cooperative Follow. Her face was bloody and swollen, with one eye bulging and closed and the other eye half open so she could see the other white man sitting on the truck.
She did not look at the man on top of her.
He was breathing hard and sweating and cursing. He was hurting her…. You could pick up one of thousands of books and find similar scenes. Readers have been conditioned to feel more comfortable with graphic scenes of violence while rejecting books conveying true horror, even when they are not explicit. Books that lead to us to feeling violence have become more controversial than books exploiting it. Contrast such writing to a real child being raped. The physical pain is catastrophic. The feelings are absolute terror, horror, sweeping shame, mind-altering, obliterating, reverberating fear. Those feelings are like a vast dark vortex pulling us under, and even long after the event that vortex and its implicit promise remains: we know what it is like to feel we might die.
Such feelings cannot be described impersonally. There is absolutely nothing impersonal about being raped. They pretend to offer an edification rather than rape by proxy. Interestingly, the common idea for being inside the mind of a rapist is to create a character outside all norms.
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Thus we have characters who make skin suits out of women, who are reprehensible in thought and deed, who are without any humanity: they are monsters, and most certainly not like the writer themselves. Or any of their friends, neighbors, fraternity brothers, or relatives. The woman or girl must be lying!
Step #1: Choose Your Genre
In this way such characters end up reinforcing disbelief of victims. All the offender has to do is paint on a smile. Such tropes also avoid grappling with important questions: what makes so many men violent?