Tag Archive - Establishing Shots

3 Ways to Not Lose Your Readers on Your First Page

Readers will often stop reading before they finish the first page of your story. While this has always been true, in this fast-paced age that foments impatience, it’s even more true.

If a writer doesn’t deliver what a reader hopes for on that first page, it’s going to be tough to convince the reader to stick around for the whole chapter—let alone the whole book.

We’ve been looking at all the things needed on a first page of a novel or short story. And while it’s not a hard-and-fast rule that all these elements have to show up on page 1, the more elements a writer includes, the better.

This, of course, is going to vary a lot. And if a writer is starting with a prologue or some scene that doesn’t introduce the protagonist, that makes a difference as well. But the overall objective, regardless of opening scene, isn’t going to change. And that is to engage the reader. Continue Reading…

Scene Structure: Should Writers Begin Scenes in Omniscient POV?

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at excerpts from past posts on Live Write Thrive that tie in with our exploration on scene structure.

From 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…

Scene Structure: Cinematic Scene Openings for Novelists

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at excerpts from past posts on Live Write Thrive that tie in with our exploration on scene structure.

From Just Enough Sensory Detail to Set the Stage:

To set the stage for a scene, 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.

A Tease before Establishing the Setting

Take a look at this Establishing Shot from the movie Jurassic Park written by Michael Crichton and directed by Steven Spielberg. Notice how Crichton uses an Extreme Close-Up to show minute detail, teasing the audience with the imagery shown in the opening moments. He then switches to a more traditional Establishing Shot to ground the locale for the start of the story. Continue Reading…

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