Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Scene Settings

I have to admit I rather liked the little scene I wrote for yesterdays post:

'Hello Mary,' Janice said, flicking her hair back over her shoulders.
Mary gave a brief smile. 'Hi.' She was dressed as Snow White, right down the the sparkly slippers on her feet. They twinkled as she walked over to the drinks table. 'Damn. They've got no cider.'
'Cider?' Janice echoed, pulling a face. She ran her Freddy Krueger hands over the bottle tops. 'Who on earth would be drinking cider at a party like this?'
'Me,' Mary said, pushing the black wig away from her unnaturally pale face. 'I need to get drunk fast.'

And if you did too, I bet it wasn't the dialogue that worked for you, but the brief mentions of how these characters were dressed - the Snow White outfit, the Freddy Krueger hands. It was a writing example, so I set off with no knowledge of where I was going - rather like a writing exercise - and originally it was going to be just any old party they were at. But any old party was too dull, so I made it Fancy Dress.

If I'd been writing that scene for real, the costumes would have given me plenty of scope for writing such as descriptions of what people were wearing, their feelings about their costume, their reactions to other people "How could Nigel have ever thought a Superman costume was a good idea?". I find that sort of thing fun to write, and hopefully readers find it fun to read.

Always look for an interesting setting for your scenes. It's your choice, as the writer, so don't settle for the ordinary, the everyday. Make it different, make it interesting, make it fun.

It's Birmingham TONIGHT! 6.30 - 8.30 Lucy Diamond, Milly Johnson, Veronica Henry and me will be talking about writing at Birmingham Library. Come and meet us!


Talli Roland said...

Thanks for the great tip! Loved the snippet.

I wish I was in Birmingham - I'd be there!

Sarah Duncan said...

I wish you'd been there too! There were some, um, interesting conversations at the end which I'm longing to blog about but think I'd better let some tactful time elapse.