Monday, May 24, 2010

The Big Reveal

*and no, I'm not writing a review of the Lost finale. I actually didn't even watch it.

Today I'm writing about a type of scene that we come across a lot in YA fiction, particularly YA Fantasy and Paranormal. It's a scene that I have just finished rewriting for the tenth or maybe fifteenth time in my own WiP. I'm talking about . . .

The Big Reveal Scene

You know the type. The scene where Main Character is told that she has Fill In the Blank Power. Or that she's actually a Fill In the Blank Paranormal/Fantasy Creature.

Or when Main Character's gloriously Hot New Crush reveals that he is actually Fill In the Blank Paranormal/Fantasy Creature. Or that he has Fill In the Blank Power.

These scenes are inevitable in any story where the fantastical and paranormal are thrown into a real world setting. And a lot can ride on them. Haven't we all read a book where we thought, sheesh, she accepted that pretty easily. Or, hello when is she going to just freaking accept that this isn't a dream?!

In my slaving over my own Big Reveal Scene in my WiP, I've tried to pinpoint exactly what makes these scenes work. Here's my rough list:

This is the vital ingredient, and the most vague concept. When faced with a startling truth, characters have to struggle with accepting it. Especially if this fact challenges their concept of reality.
However no reader wants to slog through twelve chapters of the Main Characters refusing to believe what is right in front of their eyes. It just gets old. Frankly, I think readers want to move along as quickly as realistically possible. Realistic being the operative word.

2.Strong Characters
This seems like a no-brainer. You need this in any story. True. However I do think that strong characters are vital in pulling off the Big Reveal Scene (BRS.) If you don't have well defined characters, the risk is that you will fall into the dreaded Cliche Reactions. Readers are smart. If they feel like your character "would never act that way" than you risk losing them.

Ideally, your BRS will breeze by without a wince because your characters are reacting exactly how they "really would." Know what I mean?

3.Mix it up a Little
So many times, the BRS are two talking heads in a room. All necessary info is shared. Reactions are made. Then a form of acceptance. End Scene.

If you think about it, this moment has the potential to be very exciting. This is a chance to show us exactly what Fill in the Blank Power/Fill in the Blank Paranormal creature can do. Dazzle and distract us. We might be more forgiving of any lack in the actual dialogue. (Maybe. I'm a pretty easy going reader. Others demand perfection. Just something to keep in mind. No pressure . . .)

So there's my rough list. I know there are many more points you could add to it. What do you think? Have you ever written a BRS? How did you pull it off? Any tips? (Because, frankly, I feel like my WiP's BRS is still not just right.) Please do share.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Maybe I ain't the blogging kind

This is Just to Say

I have switched
to Twitter
instead of

which is
probably not
a huge loss to you,
but anyway

Forgive me.
Twitter's just so short
and fun
and manageable.

(*no, this is not my blogging swan song. :) But I am much more active on Twitter, so if for some odd reason you have been missing me, feel free to follow me there.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dreams come true!!

Today, I head out of town to buy a minivan!!! Every mom's dream!

(Did I getcha? Did you see my post title and think I had amazing, writing related news? *grin* Sorry, I'm feeling a little cheeky this morning.)

In truth, my feelings on the purchase of a minivan are fairly neutral. I can't say I've dreamed of owning one, but I'm not one of those people loathe the idea. Truth is, it may not be the coolest car out there, but it will fill our needs in the most price and fuel efficient way. So there you go.

As far as writing related news, nothing dramatic to report. I'm busying away on edits. This is the first time I've ever had to add words in the revision process. It's surprisingly hard. After taking a few weeks to ponder, and getting some great feedback from a beta, I'm pretty sure I have some solid areas to expand. However, for me, editing has always been all about cutting. So it just feels weird.

*lovingly strokes Delete key* Next editing round, baby. Next round.

Anyway, here's hoping I can still get some work done on my little minivan-purchasing pleasure cruise. I'll see you all when I come back next week!