With temperatures expected to take a major tumble here in the northeast, I’m hearing that a lot. But while wool socks and thermal underwear are what the weather man is talking about, I’m hearing something else.
Adding on layers. Layering. I’m thinking about fleshing out scenes, not covering flesh!
For as long as I’ve been writing, my stories have come to me one way. Straight from the horse’s mouth—or in this case, the hero and heroine’s mouth. I don’t just mean Raz Colt pulling up a chair, propping up those long legs of his and insisting I listen while he tells me his life story. I mean the way my characters talk to each other. That’s pretty much how every scene unfolds for me.
Sometimes my fingers can’t keep up as I struggle to get it all down on paper –sorry, old habit, I mean on screen. Especially when the sparring really gets going.
But at the end of the day all I’m left with is … talking heads. Two people talking, baiting, bantering. But no action. No movement. No emotions!
That’s where the layers come in. One layer for physical gestures. One for external things, like description of the room, the surroundings. Another for emotional responses to charged statements. And another to see if I have any unnecessary tags I can get rid of.
As I continue to fine tune and hone my craft, I think I’m slowly getting better at doing it as I go. But by the time I present it to my critique partners, I still go home with “how does she feel about this?” “What is he doing?” “Where are they?” scrawled on my pages. And as frustrating as it is, I’m glad my CP’s are there to ask these questions and make me look at my scenes from a different angle.
How about you? Do you go back and add layers, and if so, which ones do you have to add?