Hello, writers. Happy Juneteenth!
For the last few weeks we've been talking about action scenes and the scenes leading up to them. A writer I know calls the scenes that follow action scenes “walking scenes”. These are quieter scenes, where your characters assess the consequences of the action scene, react to it, and/or react to the changes that have come about because of it.
(If nothing's changed as a result of an action scene, then there's no point in having it.)
I am not sure whether all genres require walking scenes. It's possible some fast-paced action thrillers don't, but I haven't really read enough of them to say. Genres that seldom have action scenes (eg romance) probably require walking scenes after scenes of emotional tension
And not all action/high energy scenes require walking scenes. I think.
So what happens in a walking scene?
Well, your characters are doing something less urgent, life-threatening or world-threatening than what happened in the previous scene. They might (for example) be walking. They might be reading, gardening, drinking tea, cleaning up the blood, or searching for lost sock or body parts.
There's usually some assessment of what went before. It might be verbal-- dialogue-- or it might be mental.
If it's dialogue, then it shouldn't be an answer to all questions or a correct, conclusive and unbiased summing up of what went before. After all, we don't do that in real life. Walking scenes still have the same job as other scenes. They still have to portray character and advance plot. There should still be scene tension, a scene question. Characters may have different interpretations of what happened or different concerns about it.
If the assessment is mental, then your POV character may be worrying. What happened may have raised new, more urgent concerns; things have gotten worse. Or s/he may feel that everything is fine now (a sure sign to the experienced reader that everything is not fine) and may feel calm and relieved.
Anyway, walking scenes. Tonight's challenge is, of course, to write one. Or a part of one.
For the past couple-few weeks, we've been writing about a callow youth and his/her stout companion who first found themselves in a passage, trying to open a door, while something approached them from behind. Then they had to face a terrible creature.
Now that they've escaped the terrible creature, write the beginning of the scene immediately following. Try to limit yourself to 100 words.
And somehow incoporate this.
Write On! will be a regular weekly diary (Thurs 8 pm ET) until it isn't.
Before signing a contract with any agent or publisher, please be sure to check them out on Preditors and Editors, Absolute Write and/or Writer Beware.