Friday, November 03, 2017

Writing: Scenes In A Novel

When you set out to paint a scene of a forest, it's a matter of doing it tree by tree. Anne Lamott talks about this approach in her book, Bird By Bird. When you think about it, a novel is made up of scenes, each one with a purpose, like beads strung on a wire to create a necklace. That should be what a writer creates.

 For the author there are two reasons to read: read to see what others write (the good stuff, so you know what to emulate, and the bad stuff, so you know what to avoid) and study to see how to improve your grasp of the craft. I normally don't recommend books here, but as a generalization the Writer's Digest books are among the best in the latter category, and I've found one I want to add to my library.

I've just read an excerpt from the WD book, Four Ways To Launch A Scene by Jordan Rosenfeld, and what I have seen thus far is excellent. A writer should always try to make his/her next book better than the last, and one way to do this is by making each scene tell a story. I recommend this book for writers and readers alike.

Tweet with a single click. "Writers, does every scene in your book move things forward?"


Patricia Bradley said...

I usually have to read a book twice if I'm reading it for craft--twice because once I get caught up in it, I forget about learning anything and just enjoy the ride. Did that last night on your book, Doctor's Dilemma.

Will have to read it again now to see how you did some things. :-)

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, I'll tell you a secret if you won't let others know. A lot of times I don't know that I've done something "right" until an editor points it out. Of course, then I'm happy to take credit, but I suppose God really is responsible. Thanks for your comment.