Writing isn’t always easy. Of course, writing isn’t easy! There are some aspects that are more difficult than others, but it really depends on the author. Some people have a talent for writing action, while others do really well with dialogue. So, what do we find easy and difficult to write?
The scenes I most enjoy writing are those from a child’s perspective. Perhaps because I have 2 of my own. Perhaps because I’m more like them than I can admit. The scenes I find most difficult to write tend to be ones about violence and death. Because of that I don’t typically include those in my writings. Naturally you won’t find those on my blog or in my children’s stories. I have written a few violent short stories, but I never shared them so I don’t really know what others think. I just feel it’s not my strong suit because I don’t like it.
Ooooh, you’re really making me think with this one! Um… I’m pretty good with conflict of emotion scenes, and especially with dialogue. What I’m not so good at are action scenes. Or more accurately, fight scenes. I have the utmost respect for authors who can write huge or epic battle scenes. I can just imagine them with a full board of little plastic figures in a bedroom or attic that they move around so they don’t lose track of who is where and what everyone is doing.
Easiest: action that has an excuse for not being entirely realistic. (Though incorporating realistic consequences into fantastic scenes also comes fairly naturally.)
Most difficult: scenes that require substantial description but still need fast pacing.
Fight scenes! It’s not that I don’t know how to fight. I have a brown belt in Shotokan Karate. It’s just all those body parts moving around – I never know how much detail is too much.
The easiest for me is a scene where characters are conversing. When we get to scenes where lots of description is necessary to flesh out the setting, I’m not in my happy place and writing is slow going.
Scenes that are heavy on dialogue come easiest to me. I can focus on what characters say, maybe add a few hand gestures, and move on. Scenes that rely on heavy emotion, such as scenes where someone’s dying or getting married (or maybe both?) are hardest for me because I struggle with portraying emotion convincingly in stories.
Fight scenes are both easy and difficult – action scenes are exciting and generally move quickly, so the words pop out fast. Then, in the editing stage, you have to worry about repetitive word use and phrasing. Swords swing, scythe, slice, chop and parry a lot in a battle but you have to use the terminology sparingly to avoid repetition.
This might sound strange, but I find the easiest scenes for me to write are the emotionally loaded ones. Sex scenes, death scenes, anything that’s torturous or horrifying, or anything that is accompanied by a hammering heart and a racing mind. If it’s a situation that would make you forget the world, or make you want to die, I find it not only easy, but fun to write. I feel like that stuff comes to me naturally, maybe because my own mind is always racing, finding the dramatic in every moment.
As for the most difficult? I feel like I’ve changed my mind on this particular question a few times, but at the moment I’m going to go ahead and say action scenes. I find anything action-heavy (fight scenes, big battles in particular) to be extremely difficult to put into words. I can see everything happening in my head, like a movie scene, but trying to actually formulate the words to describe it in a way that doesn’t sound watered down is very difficult for me. I’ve written fight scenes that I imagined as these wonderfully amazing waltzes, and then when I go back to read them over they sound like the characters are just stomping around each other in clumsy circles. I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever get the hang of those scenes.
The easiest scenes for me to write? Conversations and fight scenes. Conversations are easy, and should be for any author. You sit your characters down and have a good chat. Fight scenes, well, I know how to handle myself. I’ve been trained in western martial arts, and I’ve practiced for decades. I have also been in street fights, bar fights, knife fights, gun fights, you name it. It doesn’t always apply to science fiction, but much of it does, or at least, I make it work.
The most difficult scenes for me are love scenes. I hate reading love scenes in books. I think such things should be private. It feels like I’m writing porn. Sigh. I’m not a prude or opposed to sex, the gods know I love it myself, I just don’t like to share it. However, sex is a natural part of being alive, so I strive to write the scenes into my stories because it makes them more complete.
I noted this previously, but I can’t do romance, and I definitely can’t write sex scenes. I can do horrible awful violent things to my characters, but once they take their clothes off, I just draw the curtains on them; I don’t want to deal with it. I probably should work on it more, but I’m much like my protagonist, Cob, who doesn’t see any reason why anyone should ever be naked. On the other side of the coin, I find banter very easy to write — whether it’s two people or a whole group. I have to cut down my banter sections considerably any time I edit, because otherwise my characters will just snark at each other for a dozen pages a pop.
The easy scenes are the action sequences: Fight scenes, chase scenes, scenes where things are happening. The hard ones are the introspective scenes where a character reveals himself to himself. Action can get boggy if one isn’t careful, and revealing the right thought at the right time makes the difference between being brilliant, and being boring. And I can’t stand being bored.
I love writing dialogue, so scenes with conversations are easy for me. I also really like writing emotionally tense scenes, or scenes with conflict. I have a hard time writing if there’s no tension in the story. I also struggle to write descriptions and fight scenes – so many details, so little time.
The scenes that I find that are easiest and most difficult to write are both emotional. However, it really depends on the emotion. The easiest scenes are those that have very strong emotions, including arguments, fights, and very intense feelings. Except for romance, that is. I find romantic scenes and love scenes the most awkward and difficult to write. Good thing I don’t write romance! I just love to write the scenes that contain a lot of tension or violence. They tend to be more exciting to read, as well.
How about you?
If you’re an author, what kind of scenes do you find easy and difficult to write? If you’re a reader, what scenes do you find easy or difficult to read? Let us know in the comments section.