So I missed my post last week. Sorry. A sick toddler ... or writing a blog post. Hmmmmm ... Sick toddler won. Anyway, LOL, on a happier note we are all well this week and hopping right along with our school routine.
I got my cover for OPEN HOUSE, over 4000 words done on a WIP over the past weekend, and got a contract for my A VERY RUSSIAN CHRISTMAS with Decadent Publishing! Whoohooo! Needless to say, it has been a fabulous week thus far.
So this week in Scene and Structure, Bickham talked about common errors in scenes. After I read it, I was horrified to find several in my WIP's, but hey, he said they were common.
1) Too many people in the scene.
How many is too many, you might ask? Unless absolutely necessary - TWO! The higher number of characters, the more you split your reader's focus, the more likely you are to confuse and lose. When adding in more characters you lose the ability to focus on stimulus-response dialogue or action because your POV character is getting stimulus from more than onc source.
"Be ready to do almost anything to narrow the focus to just the two main people in the conflict"
2) Circularity of Arguement
"Did not! -Did so! -Did not! -Did so!" Familiar? Common? Yes! Bickham warns to plan your arguments so that they work for you and not the other way around. Nobody wants to hear the problem stated over and over again. Your readers aren't dumb.
3) Unwanted Interruptions
If you have the telephone ring or someone knock on the door or a dog bark and distract your main character - Have. A. Stink'n. Good. Reason. Or. Get. Rid. Of. It. (I am totally guilty of this one, LOL)
4) Getting off Track
(This would be a problem for me too. My darn characters are always running away with the scene.) Bickham suggest to always keep your scene goal first and foremost in your mind. If it's not clear in the author's mind as he/she is writing ... it won't be clear in the reader's mind when he/she is reading.
5) Inadvertent Summary
In a nutshell ... don't skip parts of your scene! If you feel your scene is running too long, his advice, instead of a copout summary to hurry it along, check the beginning and see if maybe you can jump into the scene later and then "write the good part" as he so eloquently puts it. Watch out for words like 'later', 'after a few minutes', having thought it over', when they finally got back', etc. You get the idea.
These were the top five! Hope they were helpful.