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FOCUS and the ELEMENTS : Tips and Advice • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

FOCUS and the ELEMENTS

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HawkEliz489
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FOCUS and the ELEMENTS

Postby HawkEliz489 » Sun May 15, 2016 7:40 am

Hi guys.

I don't know how to put this, but I made it to a strange and kind of hard (for me) scene/situation in my story. Honestly, the scene doesn't look hard at all itself, I have it in my mind, but I can't really arrange the sequence by words because I have many important elements. And I have no idea on which one to focus first. I know that the writer must imagine to be on their Character's shoes: feel and see for them to write. And that's how I started my draft, too.

Main Elements of the scene are: Character waking up. The room she's in. The one and only door. The blood pool she finds herself lying in. And a mutilated body next to her. (I know it sounds gross, but anyway... genre :D )
Then I have all the emotions, feelings and perceptions by which Character gets overwhelmed.
But I find it hard to put it all in as a sequence. I mean, I don't know if I'm focusing on the right thing first.
It's a 3rd POV Limited, and I started off with the Character's feelings (what she feels around her, what she smells and perceives before she opens her eyes). Then the focus goes to her body - being covered in blood - and then to the rest overwhelming emotions: being confused, scared, having no memory of what actually happened. I do have this part written, but I'm getting stuck to other elements. It's like, on the background of Character's emotions all the rest is not getting enough credits: the room, the door, her surrounding in general.

My questions are these: What should I focus in 'overwhelming' scenes like this one? Should I put the Character's feelings and actions first, no matter what? And mention her surrounding later if it's still important? Because, logically, the Character would not care about her surrounding, rather than situation, right? And on the alternative, is it okay to mention the surrounding piece by piece along with Character's emotions and actions? (Example: With a sudden jolt, she stumbled off the pool. Her feet slipped as she made her way toward the nearest wall. Her back struck the gray concrete and she sunk to the floor.) Is it okay when I mention the material/color of the wall in this specific example? Or it shouldn't matter?
“Do I look like the leader of this merry band of misfits?”

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cynicalwanderer
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Re: FOCUS and the ELEMENTS

Postby cynicalwanderer » Sun May 15, 2016 9:33 am

I'd say you've started off the right way, focusing on the senses and emotional reactions. Dribbling in little bits of scenery such as the "grey concrete" as she goes through that process of becoming alert is also fine. But yeah, the focus probably needs to be on the body and the shock first, and then the location details later - preferably worked into the scene, for example in her panic she tries to escape, whirling around looking for exits and seeing only the one door, rushing over to it and skidding on the blood pool, that sort of thing. So you're on the right track, by the sound of it - focusing on the emotional side and saving the detail for when it's relevant.
"I've stopped giving advice. Even when people ask for it, they resent getting it." -Ross Macdonald.

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Loren Killdeer
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Re: FOCUS and the ELEMENTS

Postby Loren Killdeer » Mon May 16, 2016 7:07 am

Wow! Its a really difficult question.

I think (but its oly as a personal opinion) better than say that she feels scared is how she acts scared. The little extract that you wrote is perfect to get inside the character skin! Maybe it will be good not to describe the body, just let the reader know what happened and leave details like that to the imagination.

Anyway, I might be wrong.
If it helps, look for similat situations in another books, not to copy (never to copy) but to see how other authors dealt with it.

Best of lucks, sir!
“Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
― Mark Twain



LMarriver
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Re: FOCUS and the ELEMENTS

Postby LMarriver » Tue May 17, 2016 8:50 am

I agree that focusing first on the emotions is the way to go. In fact, waking up like that you would be disoriented and a stream of thoughts, feelings,little physical details, emotions, physical reactions would be great. It would only be then that you would be able to take in the situation and really see the environment clearly.

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HawkEliz489
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Re: FOCUS and the ELEMENTS

Postby HawkEliz489 » Wed May 18, 2016 4:55 am

Thank you guys for your replies. I was getting worried I was doing something wrong. :D
Now I'll make sure to stick to that line of sequence.
“Do I look like the leader of this merry band of misfits?”


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