Have you ever written a scene which is very long yet very important? Ever wondered how it could be made shorter? Well Elizabeth S. Craig, over at Mystery Writing is Murder, suggests you could Write in an Interruption.
You could have a character hint at the important information you need to get across but get interrupted by another event, something that needs immediate attention in the story. Of course that character might end up dead before he has a chance to say what was on his mind. But that also gives an opportunity to delay the character’s revelation—maybe he told another character his problem or conclusion or insight. Maybe he wrote it down. Maybe he emailed someone. Who did he communicate with in the days leading up to his death?
However, if this interrupting is done too frequently or in an obvious way, it can get frustrating for a reader. But if it’s handled by just introducing another important scene or event, it automatically creates tension and interest: what was that character trying to say? And life, after all, is frequently one interruption after another.
This approach is very useful when you have a huge scene that’s composed of dialogue between a couple of characters. It’s almost like a big info-dump. It’s not backstory, but it’s a lot of information to process. Why not break it up? Fracturing the scene creates tension, adds reasonable length to my story, and makes the pace faster.
Elizabeth S. Craig writes many series of books including the Memphis Barbeque series and blogs daily at Mystery Writing is Murder, which was named by Writer’s Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers for 2010, 2011, and 2012. Write in an Interruption was first published on the 23rd of May 2012.