Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Self-censorship comes in all manner of shapes and sizes. Two weeks ago, I described one form in Censorship. Here's another you might want to watch out for.

My scenes usually start with dialog. I can hear the words that the characters are saying, but dialog isn't everything. When I start worrying about the other necessary parts of the scene, I slow down. My ears lose their focus on the matter at hand. I start thinking about how to write the words smoothly with no cliches. Stage direction, body language, and description become obstacles to the free flow of what I can see at the moment. The truth is, when I don't stop to think and let description flow naturally, others notice it and praise it as poetic prose.

So, what stops you in your tracks, slows down your words? Do you have a usual obstacle to your first words? How do you go back and capture the fire of the scene, that kernel that caught your attention at the beginning?