Focus on action

Karalee’s Post #40

Somewhere along the line I remember learning that it takes about 30 repetitions  (don’t quote me on the exact number) to get information from your short-term memory into your long-term memory. It seems to have taken me at least that many reps to become familiar and more comfortable with developing my craft of writing.

Paula has said at many critique sessions to try and write like you are making a movie; your story is a screenplay.

Movies are a series of motions, some faster than others, but characters should be contributing something important to the storyline. Having your characters in motion is paramount, but like Silk also has highlighted, your character’s emotions are also a major part of the success of a scene. And that means understanding the characters, which means knowing something about their back story too.

Back story is my nemesis. In movies back story can be introduced up front in a scene before the main movie begins, or in a full scene flashback during the movie, or in quick flash backs in the middle of a present scene. For me, looking at back story in this way gives me different ways to introduce it in my writing too.

Little WomenTo me there couldn’t be a better compliment to a story I write if readers not only want to stay up all night reading, but also want to BE one of my characters. I’m sure this magic has happened to all of us. In my teens  I would have given almost anything to be Jo March in Little Women, and I bet many people would like to live in James Bond’s shoes for awhile if only to use the latest gadgets.

In my re-write I’m going to concentrate on writing like a screenplay and like Helga said, cut anything that can’t be seen or heard.

A blog I highly recommend that highlights utilizing cinematic technique in fiction writing is: http://www.livewritethrive.com/category/shoot-your-novel/. Some of the topics covered are: 

  • Show, don’t tell-but how?
  • It’s all about the angle
  • Using camera technique for big impact
  • Novelists need to be film editors too
  • String shots together to make dynamic scenes
  • An intro to stationary camera shots
  • Establishing shots that reveal character
  • Just enough sensory detail to set the stage
  • Wrapping up a look at establishing shots
  • Calling the shots in screenplays
  • Close-up and personal–one stationary camera shot
  • Using close-up shots to give sensory detail
  • Full shot for full effect
  • And many more.

Happy re-writing to all my 5Writers.

2 thoughts on “Focus on action

  1. Thanks for the link Karalee — I will definitely check it out. BTW I was another girl who wanted to be Jo Marsh.

    • That makes me smile Silk. When I think about it, Jo is the type of character that attracts strong-minded women like us but also less confident young women that want to be strong like Jo. She’s the perfect character all types of readers can relate to.

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