Monday, August 25, 2014

Quiet Places

It is an inherent fact that no plot can survive on action, alone.

There will not be an explosion every other millisecond. Nor can you constantly have a character get physically hurt or attacked every chapter. Nor can you have them be emotionally traumatized every 500 words.

What I'm trying to say: don't forget those quiet places.

The "place" can be a physical location, somewhere your character(s) go just to forget the rest of the world for five minutes when the stress gets to be too much. Or, it can be metaphorical: let your character think about things. Introspective moments, ya'll. Something.

You know how when you run five miles, you wind up collapsed on your doorstep with your neighbors looking at you sideways, wondering if they should call an ambulance while you slowly die because you're practically hyperventilating? No? Maybe that's just me. The point is that those five miles are the equivalent of every action-y scene that you force your characters through. It tires them out, and guess what? It tires your readers out, too. Don't be that author who writes the book in which the reader turns the page and then rolls their eyes going, "Okay, so somebody's getting shot. Again."

While your characters are getting physically exhausted, your readers will get mentally exhausted. Don't do that.

I mean, action is fun. I particularly enjoy inflicting strange injuries on my characters (including ones that should kill a person, but when you've got a character with regenerative abilities then practically anything goes). Not only is it fun, but it's interesting. I love writing and seeing not only how the character directly involved reacts, but the characters around them.

At the same time, the quiet moments are just as interesting. It's that moment when the world slows down and you (as the reader or author) can notice the little things. Your characters have a chance to actually stop and take a breath, and try to figure out what the heck is happening not only with their world, but with themselves.

So slow down, take a breather. Your characters and your readers will thank you for it.

Tweet It:

@Rae_Slater invites you to slow down and take a breather when it comes to the action in your novel (Click to Tweet)

Appreciate the quiet places. Not everything in your novel can be action, and here's why via @Rae_Slater (Click to Tweet)

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