Ezekiel 37 finds the prophet in a valley filled with very dry bones. The Lord asks Ezekiel if these bones can live again. The prophet wisely replies that only the Lord would know if they can. When Ezekiel prophesied to the bones, they began to rattle and take on flesh and tendons. What once were only dry bones becomes a living army.
Have you ever gotten to the point in reading where the story becomes as dry as the bones spoken of above? You find it easy to lay the book aside or maybe even skim ahead to a “good part.”
As writers we don’t want to give our readers a reason to lay our books aside or skim ahead. When we come to a point in our story that seems to drag or be dry, we need to add some flesh, tendon, and breath.
Of course not every scene can be action-packed and suspenseful, but there are strategies to assure the scene doesn’t fall flat.
Locate a slow scene within your work in progress. First, are there things in this scene that really aren’t necessary? Could you delete parts and still have the meaning intact? If yes, then get rid of it.
If the scene is needed, how could you add some tension to make it more potent? Does the scene involve dialogue? If so, really study the interchange between the characters. Could you add in some tension through the characters’ words and actions? Or, could you have the inner thoughts of one of the characters not match what she is saying to the other character?
Make sure that every scene counts and moves your characters ahead in their final goal for which they are striving. You may find that adding additional obstacles or surprises in between the “big” conflict scenes will ramp up your story and move it along.
Strive to write each scene minus any “dry bones.” Take time to check all of your story’s scenes.
As a Christian writer, you have the opportunity to communicate truths through your stories. Don’t give your reader dry bones. Make sure you add the flesh, tendons, and breath. Give life to your stories by working hard to improve your scene-writing with every scene and every story you write.