by Megan Higginson
Writing a story, I have found, can be exhilarating. Creating new characters, new worlds even, and sending them out on adventures is a fascinating process. But then there are times where it can come all unstuck. A scene is bogged down and you don’t know why; your male hero sounds very effeminate; your female heroine is acting out of character; or you just can't seem to move the scene forward. How can you get yourself out of the mess you find yourself in? At a recent writer’s group, we tried out one way—acting out the scene.
According to Shelly from Keystrokes and Close Doors in her blog Writing Tips- Acting Out Your Scene, “If you are having writers block in a scene, acting it out is a useful tool to get passed it. When you act out the dialogue and portray a character it can fuel the action within the scene and help you break passed your creative wall. This is because when you get really into it you may discover other things you character might say that propel the story along or even the responses of other characters to what you are doing.”
"When you act out the dialogue and portray a character it can fuel the action within the scene and help you break past your creative wall."
This especially helpful—and lots of fun I might add—when your characters are not humans. Ester had a scene in her current W.I.P. (Work in Progress) Gnerk.
To do this properly Ester:
In the end it was only minor things. But they were so important to the text and the understanding of what was happening. It was also important to increase the tension. So acting it out and discussing it, we found small ways to achieve that goal. An addition of a movement of a person here, slowing the pace here, changing what another character does in another spot, changing what someone says, all made an impact on the scene overall.
I have found myself doing this as I work on my own mss. So whether it is a picture book or a novel, it is so helpful to at the very least, read your work out loud. It is even better to act it out. You may find in the process the very action/dialogue/description that your scene was lacking, and boost its impact on your story.
If I ever write a fantasy novel, I think I'll join the local L.A.R.P. (Live Action Role Playing) society. Now that would be fun.
Good luck, and happy writing.
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