Monday, May 19, 2014

Writers, two tips for what to do when a scene isn't working

1. Delete it. Not everything has to be shown in a story. As good playwrights know, having things happen offstage can be the best choice.

2. Heighten the tension. That advice underlies Raymond Chandler's advice for murder mysteries: "When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand." But tension can also be psychological. In a strong scene, several kinds of tension will be at work, and the reader will want to know how they all will resolve.