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Wrapping Up a Look at Establishing Shots

I want to touch on a few insights regarding Establishing Shots and how they come into play in writing twenty-first-century fiction. We are taught that it’s important to stay in one point of view in a scene. You may have a novel with a dozen POV characters (I often do in my novels), but as long as you keep each scene in one character’s head, you are okay.

Sure, writers can break this rule, but if you take a good look at the majority of novels published (and especially the best sellers), you’ll find it’s a fairly accepted rule. And there’s a reason for it. It can be jarring and disjointed to skip around in heads when you are playing out a scene. Continue Reading…

Just Enough Sensory Detail to Set the Stage

We’ve been looking at Establishing Shots used in scripts, and we’ve seen how they don’t need to be lengthy. You only need a few moments to show the reader where the new scene is taking place. But rather than use dull narrative, we’ve seen how powerful it is to filter the shot through your POV character’s eyes. It’s not only great to show scenes through your character’s eyes but to use emotionally-packed descriptive words that can add power to your story. Sensory details work similarly. Continue Reading…

Establishing Shots That Reveal Character

Last week I began discussing Establishing Shots used in movies and how they help make clear in just a few moments where the scene is taking place. So many scenes in novels jump into the narrative or dialog without establishing the setting, and so being mindful to start with some sort of Establishing Shot at the beginning, or at least near the beginning of each scene (unless it’s evident, as in the case of a continuation of the prior scene) is important in order not to confuse your readers.

But what if you want to be vague on purpose? Continue Reading…

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