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Setting through Action
In order to create action between your setting and characters one of two things must be present.
1. If your characters are at peace or comfortable in the setting you have created you then must have something outside of the characters and setting happen or come about to create a change. In other words something that will move them out of their comfortable position in the setting you created.
2. If there is something in your setting that is at odds with your character or create tension or uneasiness this will create a feeling of disharmony. This disharmony is your action.
Before we continue it is important to understand that you can use either one or two above in as many scenes as you want. You can mix and match them throughout your story or book to create enjoyment for your readers.
In technique number one above, you as the write must bring in something outside of your characters and the comfortable setting they are in. Otherwise your readers will be bored because nothing is happening—there is no action.
Therefore when writing with technique number one you have to take another step after creating your setting and the characters. That next step is to write what it is that will change the serenity and move your story forward toward your desired end.
In technique number two that additional step is not needed as the conflict between your setting and the characters provides motion. Therefore you already have the action you need to move the story forward.
The reason it is important for you make this decision for your scenes in your story is so that you don’t inadvertently create a static scene. In other words a scene where you might have a lot of beauty where you have written wonderful descriptions, but there is no action yet.
Without action for too long your readers will no longer be involved in your story. They will begin to have their life step back into their mind. This can result in your reader putting your story down and not picking it up again. Or worse, becoming bored or frustrated in which case they will not remember the enjoyment they had with your story when they were fully involved in your plot.
When you are putting your story or book together in your mind--plan out some action scenes and write them out. Then put them aside for a while. After you have your story or book fully written in rough draft form, take those scenes out and see if they fit in anywhere. If they do you have begun the development phase of your writing.
In the development phase you take your rough draft and begin to take it apart section by section or scene by scene. If you wrote your rough draft with free writing or stream of consciousness writing you will have to develop scenes as you go through it the first few times.
Taking this extra time to develop good and appropriate action between your characters and your setting in your scenes will allow you to move through the rewriting and revision phase smoothly.
These steps will help you to write a more engaging story as well as save you time wondering why draft after draft just does not seem to be working.
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