Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Keeping it Cool and a Congrats

I listened to an interview with Laini Taylor who wrote Daughter of Smoke and Bone. She talked about how she writes a scene. She went through her process and then said, "When I'm all done, I try to think of a way to make it cooler."

She used the word cool a lot in her interview.

I went to her blog and found these 7 general suggestions on things you can ask yourself when writing a scene.
  1. What needs to happen?
  2. Who needs to be there?
  3. Where could it take place? How make it interesting? What activity could characters be doing? or What is the coolest way this information might be revealed?"
  4. What’s the most surprising thing that could happen? Brainstorm three different ways it could begin.
  5. Play it on the movie screen in your head.
  6. Write a scribble version - five minutes to get the bare minimum down.
  7. Write the full scene.
Lately I've been asking myself number one a lot. What needs to happen? I like the other suggestions, especially the scribble version. I'm going to try that. Maybe it will help me get over the hump and finally write that dragon scene I've been putting off for far too long.

How about you? Do you do anything specific when you sit down to write a scene. And what do you do when you're stuck?


Now for a congrats. Chantle Sedgwick, who is a great blogger, just signed a two book deal. So exciting.

17 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

Loved that book. Great questions, too. I may need to try this technique soon.

Anne Gallagher said...

I've always got the movie runnning in my head. My biggest problem is getting the movie onto the page. It's a lot harder than you think.

Yay for dragons, I love dragons.

Laura Pauling said...

Those are great questions - I love the one about what is the coolest way to reveal the info!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Might sound kind of kooky, but I close my eyes and try to picture being at the scene, in the moment.
~ Wendy

Joanne said...

Research. More often than not, research will open up my ideas and let me write and expand a scene.

And congrats to Chantle's good news!

Monica B.W. said...

Those are awesome tips! No wonder her book was a NYT bestseller! I really want to read it soon... I need to make time! EEP!
And yep! I'm so happy for Chantelle too! :D

....Petty Witter said...

I can always remember our English teacher telling us the most important thing was to read and then re-read anything we wrote - pretty sound advice I think.

i'm erin. said...

I swear, I forgot those questions all the time. In fact, if it's ok, I just cut and pasted your post and put it in a word doc so I can print it big to look at it. I'm editing my manuscript right now and I need to flush out the junk scenes.

Carolyn V said...

I always start my chapter with a skeleton and then have to add some meat to my writing. I love the tips. I'm going to have to borrow some of those. ;)

Melissa Marsh said...

I always try to ask myself what the whole point of the scene is - does it move the story forward? If it doesn't, I have no business writing it. ;-)

Emily R. King said...

Your first three questions are fabulous! I need to write them down...

Terri Tiffany said...

I like this--good question to ask and now you have me asking it of my last scene--can it get cooler?? Ummm yeah.

Carol Riggs said...

GREAT bunny photo, very "cool." I SO have to read that SMOKE AND BONE book; it's on the top of my TBR pile. These are great things to think about, to maximize the impact of a scene. Thanks!

I know--I'm excited for Chantele!

ali cross said...

Great suggestions! I always ask myself "WWJWD?" (What would Josh Whedon do? Um, he's the creator of BUFFY the series, if you didn't know, lol.)

And I did NOT know about Chantele! Thank you!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've been taking an online course, and the first thing we had to identify was the character's need. But there are three categories it can fall under. I'll tell you tomorrow (since I have to look them up first). :)

Martin Willoughby said...

I just write it...then come back to it later and spends hours editing it.

Some scens almsot write themselves and are very easy, but most need work.

mshatch said...

I adored that book. I think it was one of my favorite reads last year. The thing that helps me most is asking questions and interviews. Knowing what my characters want and don't want help me ask those questions whose answers frame the scenes.