Setting the timer for five minutes. This is what I came up with.
The computers shut down, and the lights in the building go off for the night. The little pink monkey smiles. He unhooks his Velcro hand from the cubicle wall, and jumps to the desk. He scuttles around the keyboard, and swings over to the chair, using the legs to slide to the floor. A mouse runs across the carpet, and the little pink monkey hides behind a chair leg. He’d find a way to catch that varmint for Eric’s Mom. He knew it was driving her nuts. First, though, he needed to figure out how to get back on the desk, because the lights were coming back on. Did it really take that long just to get this far?
Omigosh… Did I just unintentionally start a middle-grade-like novel?
I’m not really liking this one, but it’s what I came up with when I set the timer. I guess I can expect some good and some so-so five-minute shorts.
Do you pay attention to where your characters are in a scene? Are you sure? I thought I was sure too. Guess what?
For an intro into where these tips are coming from, please see my post: A Full Manuscript Rejection, or a Gold Mine? You can also click “Rant Worthy Topics” in my right navigation bar. Choose “Gold Mine Manuscript” to see all the lessons to date.
The publisher who red-lined the Gold Mine Manuscript pointed out a scene where the two main characters were running side by side away from some danger. All of the sudden, one of them shouted from behind the other one. The comment from the publisher was: “They were together, but you didn’t say he jumped ahead. How then did she get behind?”
I read over this the first time I looked at the red-line, because it seemed like another “duh” comment. However, just a few weeks ago one of my betas pointed out that both my characters were standing right next to each other, and then all of the sudden Jerric walked up to Magellan from the other side of the room. Why would he walk up if he was already at his side?
Similarly, I recently re-wrote a scene where someone was seated the entire time. In the end, he falls off the chair. I changed it so he stands up early in the scene, but after leaving it for a month, and then looking at the scene again, I noticed that my “standing” character still fell off the chair. Was he standing on the chair? Of course not!
The point of all this is to pay attention to where your character is, and make sure it is consistent throughout the scene. If not, show us the movement. If you don’t, you can unintentionally make your scene comical.
Posted in General Writing Tips, Gold Mine Manuscript
Tagged chair, gold mine, Gold Mine Manuscript, Manuscript, Narrative mode, point of view, Protagonist, publish, queen, silly mistakes