Wednesday 10 May 2017

Seeing the Scenes

I obviously don't mean scenery here. I am talking about scenes between characters. Both the main protagonists and those of subplots.

My method - and we each have our own - is to work out roughly what I want to happen and get it down. Then I mull over it awhile. That could even be a few chapters further on.

The best part of 'Seeing the Scene', for me is to find a nice, quiet spot and lay myself down, supposedly to rest. Well, at least my body does, but I have a great rethink about all my important scenes and see them in my mind's eye being played out. Not at the same time, I might add.

Funnily enough, as I see my characters playing their parts, in a particular scene, they take on more reality. They show me where they might not have done what I so blithely thought they'd do. Yes, they take on a life of their own. And then the actual setting seems to ring true, when I rewrite it. But that is usually after I've done all the hard research to make it authentic.

So in reality, that research is so important to my characters acting in the way they do. If I don't know what events happened in their time sphere, I'd be floundering. The same with the fashions of the day. And I love that part of the research. I write historicals, but I believe the same amount of research is needed for contemporary novels. It might even be more important as your readers sure know what's going on ... they're living in that time frame. And isn't it annoying when you discover in some novel those time and space 'slip-ups'?

Right now I'm sort of seeing an awful scene where my traumatised heroine is recalling the event which sadly affected her. That should be a genuine turning point in the whole novel, so you can imagine how much work I'm going to have to do to make it real so as to affect my reader emotionally.

I'd love to hear if anyone else 'sees their scenes'. Or what other way of approach do you bring in making your scenes work?

Rita Stella Galieh is an Indie Publisher of a Victoriana Trilogy

Everything can change in a heartbeat is her brand.  And the logo is represented by a little open heart. 
At the moment she is almost halfway on a third novel in a series - late 1800s - where each of her heroines are searching for something,
1. Recognition and fame. 2. A husband.  3. A voice.

That is such a truism in all our lives. We often discover when writing, what our real longings are. And we are all just one heartbeat away from changed circumstances whatever they happen to be - wonderful or tragic.


  1. Thanks for your post, Rita. I visualise my scenes, acting them out in my head & feeling the emotions. They can change when I write the down. My primary senses are visual and kinesthetic - so I wonder if how we approach scenes depend o some extent on how we sense and experience the world.

  2. Well, whatever works for us, Jeanette. And the fact they can change as we rite them down is interesting. I guess that's where our editor hat comes to life. :)


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