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15

I think what you are being asked for is to personalize the settings. Imagine yourself walking into two places — one is place you think is dangerous and the other place is your safe-space or homey. For each of us, we might choose different places — like a biker bar and a democratic rally. The physical details — the leather, the guns, the healthcare is a ...


11

To make scenes feel different, you have to use a different set of descriptive words. For a diner, it could feel cozy and quiet, and the first thing they might notice is how warm and comfortable the diner is. For the strip club, you paint a picture of flashing lights and loud noises, music pumping through their ears. What your editor is getting at (I believe) ...


9

If you like the sentimentalism, do that. It’s not good to let others tell you that you are too much this or too much that in your writing, but what is important is whether what you’ve written is up to your standards and special to you.


6

If You can't Puzzle them with Pauses, Stun them with Scenery: In the cases where there is an awkward gap in a conversation, you need something to fill in the gap. There is never NOTHING going on. So talk about what IS going on. In an awkward silence, the emptiness is filled by the wind that can now be heard blowing through the trees. Or perhaps a mob of ...


4

I think the advice to focus on sensory details is spot on. You want to create an association in the reader's mind between your setting, a sensory impression and a lived experience. Of all the senses, smell is a particularly good way to do this. Smell and memory are powerfully linked, and you can make associations that act as a bridge between the reader's ...


4

In my experience, when your settings run together, it's because you haven't done the work to fully imagine and render them in your mind. I'm not the most observant person, so whether I'm remembering a setting or inventing one, it tends to be fuzzy and abstract by default (writers who are highly visually observant tend not to have that problem). What helps is ...


4

This is the same challenge I am currently trying to work through, and this is what I've worked out so far. To minimize frustration and screaming at yourself how inept you are, work from low resolution to a higher resolution Start with a one sentence summary of your story. These are called loglines and are used to pitch stories to agents, publishers, and for ...


3

Here's a cool exercise for you to try: When you finish your day, right before bed, take a pencil and a notebook (or your phone or computer if that's easier) and outline your day. You don't need to invent anything. Just outline the day that just passed and break it down into "scenes". How did you move from one scene to another? Maybe one scene ...


3

Death is Drama: Unless you're trying to be funny or ironic, death is drama. A hated rival dying. Your 112-year-old great-grandmother who's been out of it for 40 years dying. A completely unknown stranger dying alone except for a few nurses who don't even know the person's name. So there is little you can do to change the drama. But the story isn't so much ...


2

Enchant with words: Normally, flowery words are over the top used often, but in this case I'd bunch them up. Don't just describe enchantment, try to enchant the reader, make them feel compelled to pick it up and caress it. Engage all senses, and make something up if there isn't the actual detail. For example, it could be smooth and vibrate on fingers, shine ...


2

One important but easily overlooked point is how quickly a character gets a grasp of their surroundings. In a place they're enjoying and feel comfortable they will want to savour the experience so will take in every detail one at a time. Somewhere they're scared of or escaping from, they will take in many distinct details very quickly, and will notice ...


2

Don't say it - describe it: You want to indicate the character is crying, while THEY don't understand they're crying, and you don't want to SAY they're crying. So don't say they are crying. But deep sorrow is a full body experience. Every part of a person and every action they take will be overwhelmed with the reaction. Their throat will feel constricted, ...


2

Wonderful text. I must remark that even without the "oomph" it's well written. Good job. The way I revise is to read through the text and mark spots where my mind halted and made me rethink the sentence. 1. "I didn't feel anything at first." Instead of feeling nothing, I think we always feel something. Take yourself as an example. When ...


2

No. Chapters in novels for any target audience do not have a dictated length to them. I've seen chapters that are a page long in some novels I've read (normally towards the climax when two events are happening quickly and closely together. Brevity is Wit after all). Make your chapters as long as they need to be to get the job of the scene featured done.


2

The thing you need to get across to your audience is emotion. I can tell that is what you want to convey, but you're trying to do that with dialog rather than other forms of text. Instead of using dialog to explain crying (which might come across as something else) you can try this: Brook's vision blurrs, trying to make sense of what just happened, the ...


2

Hear-Touch-Smell-Taste: I don't see (pardon pun) why this would be a problem at all, except you can't mention visible physical cues. Most of an argument from the point of view of someone outside the room is non-visible, so imagine relaying a story from the point of view of a child outside the room. In each quote in a conversation, you should either have a ...


2

"The current plot" should be based in conflicting ideals and morals to begin with. That makes "plot based" and "morals based" betrayal the same. I suggest you read some stories that have more to say than "random plot activities." A good place to start is with Cold Light by Karl Edward Wagner. The core of the story is ...


1

Figuring out what scenes to have in the story depends mostly on two things: Knowing what you want to say Knowing how to say it Creativity is of course also important, but there needs to be a mix of creativity and craftsmanship. In fact, I think it's about 10% creativity and 90% craft, or something like that. What you want to say What you want to say will ...


1

Personally I would write it almost as if you are writing a subtitle file for a video, combined with a stage production technical script. [Timestamp] - Lyrics - Notes This way it is clear what you want going on, what lyrics are being sung/spoken at this point, and how far in to the scene this particular action/movement/whatever is taking place For example [...


1

Though it isn't in dialogue form I believe this sort of sentence meets your goals: "A strange shuddering and filled his chest and a choked wheeze escaped his throat. He fell to his knees as the shuddering grew more violent and he began producing noises like that of a strangled animal." The language is vague enough that you don't outright say he's ...


1

Typically scene changes (including progress over time) are broken over chapter breaks) so Chapter X would be your first example and chapter Y would be your second chapter). If there are actions that need to be discussed over the prep, break down what happened in either chapter X or X+1. This example suggest you would be best to fill in chapter x with any ...


1

Write a picture. Sure it doesn't make much sense, but that's what you need to do. Write what you see in your head, and that will take care of the physical aspects. Mention that bush on the side of the path, the willow tree a bit away, and the bench the two strangers appeared by. Spend a bit more time on people than unimportant surroundings to keep the focus ...


1

This is a rather interesting question you got there. I myself have never attempted something like this, mostly because i was pretty certain I would mess it up. I would maybe try a few different way to see what you think sounds/looks/feels/is the best for your situation. I think your best bet would probably be to put the song lyrics in italics or parentheses ...


1

Write whatever is on your mind. A random idea, a picture, a phrase, a piece of dialogue, and object, whatever. I personally am writing a fantasy series, and when I get stuck, I write whatever I think about. For example, I’m my first book, the queens curse, my main character and two of her friends are captured by fairies. They all feel very stupid, because, ...


1

Your extract is a good attempt - you use a simile ("felt like my body was on fire"), and you give a general sense of how the character is feeling. Go further! If it's pure agony, let the reader feel every inch of skin, every internal organ. You've used the word "raw"', which is an evocative word. Use more! Searing. Writhing. Wrenching. ...


1

A writer friend of ours was afraid a fight scene was dragging on too long. In the story, the heroes are hiding in an enemy stronghold; one goes out, fights some guards, and drags one back to interrogate. Our writer explained the purpose of that scene was for the characters to have someone to interrogate. We told her to skip the fight. The lone hero leaves ...


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