Thursday, March 19, 2009

How do you writers out there punch up weak scenes in your books? Are there tips you want to share that have helped you in the past? Do you use the senses to take you into the world of your book and then try to imagine how smell or touch might enliven your written word? Do you become your character and then rewrite the weak scene and it comes alive for you? "It's alive, it's alive!" Sorry, I've always wanted to say that.

Share with me your thoughts on how to strengthen your weak, tired, scenes.And there are always going to be weak scenes that need help, especially in the middle, huh Davin? :) Maybe it will help another writer who is having a problem with this. And we need to be there for each other on this sometimes rocky and always exciting road we're on. Thanks for reading. :)


  1. This might sound really lame, but it's honestly what I do when I am stuck on a scene that isn't working. Someone once told me that revision is re-vision. So, I just try to clear my mind of what the scene currently is and start from the beginning and try to reimagine it. Often, this takes the scene in a different direction, or illuminates a detail that I hadn't thought of before. Clearing my head helps me avoid the idea that what I already have is the only way to make the scene work.

  2. Great comment Davin. Sounds like a fantastic tip. Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. I actually try to add in little, realistic things to spice things up. I'll sit down and put myself in her shoes and re-imagine the scene and see where things get boring and try to figure out what I can add or remove to make things harder on her.

    For example, I had one scene in my current WIP where the character is getting ready for a first date (nervous as hell) and is talking on the phone to her roommate at work. While I had her walking around and doing things, it just felt bland, you know? I started adding in little things to add tiny specks of drama for her.

    - In her nervousness she knocks over a bunch of bottles on the sink in the bathroom and groans about having to clean up the mess she just made.
    -She internally yells at her roommate for not cleaning the living room like she promised once her date arrives to pick her up.

    Just a couple of the little things I added to break up the scene that I'm sure she did the first time through when I envisioned things, I just missed them in my note-taking.

  4. Willow, I like that. And you and Davin have given me an idea for my own WIP. A particular scene that seemed flat and now I am going to give it some zing! Thanks, y'all! :)

  5. I think of ways to make things worse for my character, either internally or externally. How can I make the stakes higher?

  6. Great thoughts, Beth. Make 'em miserable! I love it. :)

    Today as I was revising I added a bunch of commas thinking of you my grammar--punctuation queen.


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