Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Technical Topics -- Character Development Scenes
That's the sort of scene you cough a little and say -- "That's a character development scene," when somebody asks why it's in the manuscript. It's the sort of scene that showcases and explains the character -- well, lots of scenes do that -- but when you think about it, nothing important to the plot took place. There's no necessary decision, no character change, no story action. The scene could be removed without affecting what happens later.
Now, IMO, there's nothing inherently wrong with having a few no-progress scenes in the manuscript. We have all this cool information lying around, after all, so why not pass it along to the reader?
Readers don't so much want the story to stop dead in the water, so the writer had better make this digression interesting.
Some writers always start out with a couple just informational scenes as warm-up writing. It's an exercise that helps them organize their thoughts. It's part of their process. They pull the scenes out later and expect to.
No harm, no foul