Thursday, April 23, 2009

Anchors: Not Just for Ships

I've been arduously reviewing, revising, rereading and generally tweaking my manuscript for HONEYMOON OF THE DEAD, which is due on my editor's desk on May 1. This is the book that I wrote rather quickly (some of you probably remember the contest between Kelly and me,) and I think it shows.

One thing I've discovered today is that there are entire passages with no anchors. "Anchor" is a term I made up (I think!) to describe those little physical details that keep a reader grounded, present or otherwise physically "in" the scene. An actor might call it "blocking," but it's a bit more than just knowing where your characters are in any given scene. It's more like that, plus showing a bit of the scenery or setting.

Fiction, perhaps you've noticed, is entirely text-based (at least at first. At publication you might get a story illustration or cover art....) But until then, it's entirely up to the writer what you see.

"You walk into a room. There are three, very large orcs near the door!"

Yeah, and you know, I never really LIKED being the gamemaster. But now it's my job -- to tell you what you see when *my* characters walk into a room, and to occasionally remind you that all that stuff is still there as the plot goes on. And, ideally, I should be using all those background bits to create a mood that enhances the theme or some other writerly type thing.

Now, I have to go off and do all that.

Wish me luck.


Jon said...

At least you found it before publication...

Stephanie Zvan said...

Happy expanding word count.