Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fun Ideas and Tips #4: Act It Out

This exercise is a lot of fun, a bit embarrassing, and yet it also helps bring scenes alive. Try acting out a scene you're struggling with or having a hard time translating well for readers to visualize. Whether it be an action scene, an intense piece of dialogue, or some interaction you're not sure will work on the timing. If you can get family members, friends, or even people from your writing group to help you out it lessens the embarrassment and opens up the brain-pool.

Pick out a place and act out the scene as best you can. Play with gestures, time how events really coincide, try different inflections of tone in the voice to make sure your dialogue is spot on. Watch for places where there is awkward phrasing or too much cliche being used. Really visualize the scene, use what props you can find, and throw yourself completely into your characters' shoes.

Want to up the experience? Film it or voice record it. Then go through and listen or watch when you're back in editorial mode.

Have you tried this exercise before? Please share in the comments. If you like this idea and try it, please come back and let us know how it went.


  1. Oh, I do this ALL the time :P Usually if I'm unsure how a specific action bit would work best. It also really helps to find the right character emotions, or to see what a specific character would focus on in a scene. I love acting out my novel :)

  2. I didn't do the acting part, but I did try reading out loud a chapter of my MG WIP to my kids (with different voices for effect). They thought it was fun (and funny!). XD

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