Don’t worry, I’m still blogging about self publishing, I just wanted to break it up with other posts.
So a few days ago, I was working on a scene in my fourth book. It’s a rather important council meeting-like scene which takes place between seven main characters. Yeah, seven.
And honestly, it was a big difficult.
First, while it’s important for the plot, it was pretty much seven people sitting around a table talking. And they all needed to be there, there was three who only got a few lines, but they had to be there to know what was going on.
So the first thing I had to deal with was talking head syndrome. It can be boring for a reader to read about people just talking. So was trying to fit in some extra stuff so it wasn’t just that.
Then, having seven at a time was challenging.
I dislike it when I read stuff like this.
Joe looked around. Mary fiddles with her coat. Amy sighed. Bill’s eyes zoomed in on Mary.
“What’s that?” Bill said.
Mary shrugged. “Don’t worry about it.”
“Don’t lie to us.” Amy said.
“It’s nothing!” Mary insisted.
“It doesn’t look like nothing.” Joe said.
As an author, I dislike these sentences. First, they’re very plain and we don’t see anything else happening around them. But also, they’re all very similar and are structured almost exactly the same. There’s no real difference in them.
It’s fine, but that’s all it is to me. Just… fine. There’s no sparkle or piazzas.
So it’s what I tried to avoid doing, while still identifying who’s speaking and trying to keep things as clear as possible.
The last thing I tried to incorporate was I tried to make these scene feel realistic, but not really long.
Example, I love love love Lord of the Rings. I first read the Fellowship of the ring when I was eleven. However, I will admit, the first time I read the Council of Elrond scene, I skipped a chunk of it because it was just too long and too dry. I was bored!
I did my best to keep it in mind while writing my scene. I had one character go off topic a bit, cuz that definitely happens. I also made sure to edit the entire thing down, so it didn’t drag. No one wants to read something which just goes on and on and on.
I will say, I’m quite proud of the end result. It did take a bit a few and some editing to get there, but I’m happy with it. I’m glad this (I think) Is the only chapter in the book where I have several main characters on scene like this.
What’s a difficult scene for you to write?