A novel is, essentially, a string of scenes that, when read in order, make up a story. There is no need for every single scene to be dramatic, but most of them should. Some scenes are dramatic by nature: scenes of revelations, climax and danger. However, if the rest of your scenes lack a little bit of drama and conflict, then those scenes are just filler scenes and will bore the reader. The tips below are meant to help you turn an existing scene (that you’ve written before) into a scene that has more conflict and is more dramatic than before. The tips are meant to help you make your scenes fun to read, and ensure they are memorable, even if what happens in them is just a minor point in the overall plot.
Making your protagonist, or the person he is talking to, refuse to communicate, or to keep a vital piece of information secret, can make an ordinary scene of exchanging information into a battle of wits and wills. The protagonist will need to be smart, elusive and persuasive in order to convince the other person to reveal the information your protagonist needs. For this to happen, however, remember to show, before the scene, the importance of the information. This will add to your protagonist’s inner turmoil, and increase his sense of urgency, effectively ensuring the protagonist is already tense before the scene.
Making an ordinary situation humorous is bound to ensure the scene will stay in the readers’ minds long after reading. Read through your scenes and try to imagine them from a humorous angle. Remember, not every scene can be made humorous – some are simply too serious and need to stay that way. But if a scene can be improved in terms of adding tension and drama for the characters, while amusing the readers, then you should make the scene humorous and amusing, and see whether the changes are fitting the characters and the overall plot.
This situation is similar to the first one, only here, the protagonist needs somebody else’s help, instead of information. Your protagonist can also be the supplicant in a scene if they need shelter, agreement, or more time. Here, your protagonist will need to find a way to convince the other party that they should help him. This kind of scene is tense by nature, and by having your protagonist almost begging, shifts the scene into dramatic territory, especially if your protagonist is very proud by nature.
Memories are a good way to add backstory to your characters. Adding a memory that overwhelms the protagonist when he is supposed to focus on something else can really increase the tension in a scene. A good memory (that’s nevertheless important to the plot and characterization of the protagonist) can improve the protagonist’s mood, while a bad one will make them react more strongly to what is happening at the moment, and make the scene that much more dramatic, while adding more depth to his character and serving as background to his decisions and reactions.
5. World building
World building is a necessary part of every novel. There will be scenes in your novel where you will have to describe the world your characters live in. The best way to make these scenes more interesting is to have your protagonist react to his surroundings. Think about the places you’re describing, and how they affect the protagonist. Does he like them? Or does he dislike them? Is he emotionally attached to his house, or his room? Why does he feel like that? Having your readers know the answers to these questions will make them remember the places you’re describing, and they will connect more with the protagonist, and will be interested in more places of the world he lives in.
Image credit: Pixabay [author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Georgina Roy wants to live in a world filled with magic. As an art student, she’s moonlighting as a writer and is content to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with magical creatures and amazing new worlds. When she is not at school, or scribbling away in a notebook, you can usually find her curled up, reading a good urban fantasy novel, or writing on her laptop, trying to create her own.