Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Result of Exercise #3 from Novel Shortcuts


I went through Chapters 9-13 of DEAD AND BURIED by Karen MacInerney, a Gray Whale Inn Mystery (Midnight Ink, 2007). I chose the book because it's a delightful cozy mystery series, and I am writing a cozy. I chose the particular chapters because I am around that point in my own novel.

What I found is that she is very heavy on writing scenes. In chapter nine, she has a one paragraph summary of a morning and afternoon and the rest of the chapter is a scene.

Chapter Ten has three scenes with a paragraph summary between the first and second scenes to convey a two-hour break.

Chapters Eleven and Twelve comprise one scene each.

Chapter Twelve has one short scene, then a two paragraph summary, followed by another scene.


This was a helpful exercise because it forced me to examine this element of writing in an author's work I admire. It's interesting that MacInerney uses so many scenes; I've been writing scene-heavy chapters, as well, with the understanding that these are much more immediate for the reader to experience events with the characters.

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