-Don’t rehash/describe repeatedly unless something has changed dramatically
-Scene-building. Every scene has to have drive, builds up to shift/action. It has to have a point.
-Recycling ideas: dig deeper into the character. Find a new/different angle, add complexity
-The first ideas that come to you are often the most cliché and superficial, break down/storyboard and look carefully at the details/emotions and dismiss them so you’re forced to come up with more original ideas
-Make backstory suspenseful—impending consequences? Use backstory to shape present conflict.
-Foreshadowing—can be a surprise or can be a subtle detail that reader won’t recall until later
-External dialogue conflicts with internal thoughts/feelings
Here is the exercise I did for the Microtension class. We had to write about our lunch break, lol…
My lunch was revolting. It was supposed to be a “chipotle chicken wrap.” Where was the chipotle? No idea. It was disgusting and dry, and packed with shredded lettuce. No one buys a wrap for the goddamn lettuce.
I was sitting in the lobby eating when a girl approached.
“Is anyone sitting here?” she asked, gesturing to a nearby chair.
“Nope!” I said. I moved my bag out of the way for her. I continued to stuff my face and surf the internet on my netbook. The girl sat down and proceeded to feast on a bag of Skittles.
Well, I considered. Skittles would probably be better than this shitty wrap. In fact, I began to covet her Skittles. I began to wonder what a Skittles Chicken Wrap might taste like. And then I wondered what Chipotle Skittles would taste like.
“Hey,” I nodded at her. ”I’ll trade you some of your Skittles for a couple of my barbecue chips.” A smart, even exchange. I was willing to sacrifice a couple delicious barbecue nuggets in return for sweet, happy divinity.
Only then could my lunch be redeemed. Those Skittles held the lunch-time magic I was so desperately seeking.