Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Most Important Scene in Your Book

What is the most important scene in your book?

The answer should be 'every scene.'  Every single scene you put together while writing a book should be the most important scene to you at the time.  You need to live in the moment to make it work.  Just last night I was having a terrible time with a scene.  I couldn't even get it started.  No matter what I did, it wasn't working.  Probably because I was just trying to 'get through it.'  There was no urgency in the scene, no emotional depth.  I finally gave up and went to bed.

This morning I woke up with the scene on my mind.  While still in bed, I began to write the scene in my head.  I knew what the characters were feeling and what they needed to say.  A sense of urgency was born out of that need. 

The scene played out before my eyes.  I saw Bay-Lee stumble upon a coffin in the middle of the woods.  Curious, she walked closer.  Then she saw Nick, standing on the other side of it, a half empty bottle of Jack dangling at the end of one arm.  With the heavy burden of loss weighing him down, he is lost in a sea of grief and doesn't care what secrets he spills.  She is worried about his emotional state, but she also desperately wants to know those secrets.

I jotted a few notes on a pad of paper.  Then I allowed my characters to speak to each other.  Not everything I heard was gold.  Some of it didn't work, so I started over at the beginning.  Soon, it was flowing.  I wrote down everything they said to each other. 

Later tonight, I am going to sit down at my desk and add the scene to the book. 

I learned an important lesson today.  Every scene is crucial and deserves its moment in the sun.  It cannot be forced.  Instead, it needs to be allowed to breathe.  The characters have to be allowed to breathe.  Hopefully I won't forget this lesson.  It's difficult to take the time needed to live every scene, giving it enough time to fully be realized.  But it's worth it.

Happy writing!  :)

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