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THIS WEEK'S ARTICLE:
Writing the Big Scenes in Fiction
Let me ask you a question.
Do you avoid / dread / loathe writing the
big scenes in your fiction?
Over the years I've noticed one of two
One, the writer is so nervous about
writing the big important scenes that they will
subconsciously avoid them by taking ages over getting to
Here's how it goes.
There's a crucial scene in the story where
there's a confrontation or a climactic event - and the
writer is creeping up towards it, filling the pages with
exposition and preparatory dialogue - only to freeze just
before 'the big scene' and put off writing anymore -
sometimes for months or, in some cases, years.
Two, the other scenario involves glossing over
that part of the story.
You'll often see writers fill
pages with the run up to the big event - all nice showing
instead of telling and yet, when it comes to 'the big
scene' it's told from a distance or from an uninvolved
point of view or, most commonly, in retrospect, after the
This might seem strange, though I think
it's fairly common.
It's related to the idea that writers
are sometimes afraid to confront their own deepest
I think that in the same way most sane people
avoid confrontation, writers will avoid opening
themselves up to a challenge.
Climactic set pieces make very compelling
Writers are often judged by their ability to
pull them off - and perhaps that's the problem.
don't want to be judged by writing that is focussed,
action based and as graphic as an open wound.
We'd prefer to hide behind the relative
comfort of internal dialogue, character exposition and
'Big scenes' normally involve heightened
emotion - something not all writers are comfortable
describing - because I assume they're worried that their
particular experience of heightened emotion seems so
personal - even private.
Readers want to know what other people's
heightened emotions are like!
They want to experience the
thrill of adventure, danger, risk, marriage, death,
murder and the myriad of other BIG emotions any one of us
may fall victim to.
important not to shy away from the challenging - in life
and your writing.
Challenging yourself makes you grow -
gain wisdom and lead a more fulfilling life.
have to drive speedway cars to describe the thrill of it.
You can use your imagination - that's what it's for - and
describe what you feel for the benefit of readers.
In a sense
that's your job - to give a reader the experience of
'being there' without them having to leave their
You owe it
to your readers to confront the big scenes.
exercise, try writing JUST big scenes - especially if
you're a little afraid of them.
I think you'll find that
they're very satisfying to complete, even if they might
take just a little longer to get right.
straight into the action.
Keep the sentences relatively
short and describe ONLY what is happening.
I'm sure you'll benefit - and so will your
The Easy Way to Write
THIS WEEK'S WRITER'S QUOTE:
"Inspiration is always just one thought away." Rob Parnell
Article: "You Already Know What To Do"
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