|Photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar on Flickr|
Anyway, today’s question:
I've seen you talk about finding your inner sadist when writing and allowing your characters to fail once in a while. I was wondering: what do you think about allowing peaceful scenes in every so often? A lot of books I've read definitely have beautiful moments, but often they're interrupted and cut short. I've been wondering if it's possible to balance the bad things with beauty, and use peace as a tool for character development. I'd love to hear your thoughts.So it turns out, I’ve gotten so caught up in writing about being mean to our characters and pacing and what not that I maybe forgot to talk about the other side of the high-octane balance—the slower, peaceful scenes.
I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I love writing action-y books. The more fighting, blood, fatal wounds, deaths and near-death experiences, the better. I’ve been known to blow things up and set things on fire just because I was getting bored with a scene.
That being said, even in really exciting, edge-of-your-seat-type books, you need to give your readers (and your characters) some time to recuperate.
Quiet, peaceful and even beautiful scenes are absolutely essential to even the most exciting plots. Readers, like your characters, can get tired of non-stop action if it’s really non-stop. Without slower moments to balance out the faster, crazy-exciting scenes, you can very easily end up with reader burnout. Not to mention the shock and intensity of action scenes fade the more you use them—like any writing spice, the key is not to overdo it.
Now, that’s not to say that the quiet scenes should be boring—even when there isn’t active, injury-producing conflict going on, it’s important to make sure you have some sort of tension throughout the scene. But these slower scenes can be a great time for character development and introspection, as long, of course, as it’s well-balanced.
What do you think? Do you use quiet scenes to balance out more intense moments?
Do you use quiet scenes to balance out more intense moments? @Ava_Jae writes about the importance of balance. (Click to tweet)