How To Interrupt

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In a recent critique, I noticed something we all do occasionally. See if you can spot it.

Once in the solarium, they find a bench and sit down, continuing their conversation. The words flow between them, without the need to think or endure an awkward pause. Candace finds herself genuinely having a good time. It’s been so long since she took some time to have fun.

Evan interrupts her musings, saying, “I have really enjoyed your company, Candace. I hope we can get together again.  We can take it one day at a time, no expectations.  I would much rather go out to dinner with you than my sister.” He quietly laughs.

No big deal, but it’s the interruption.

Why broadcast it? We will see him do it when he speaks, so there’s no need to say he’s about to do what he’s about to do.

REDONE:

Candace finds herself genuinely having a good time, it’s been so long since she took some time to have fun. Evan seems –

“I really have enjoyed your company, Kelly. “Edward smiled, pulling away. “And I hope…

See? Don’t announce the interruption of her thoughts, just interrupt – and write in such a way that the reader reads it as an interruption.

That’s your tip for the day.

Don’t have a lot of interruptions in your dialogue? Maybe you should add one on occasion. It’ll make your dialogues snappier. (In real life, people interrupt all the time.)

Interrupting adds a tiny element of tension, too, as we

  • (a) wait for the point to be made or
  • (b) veer off wherever the interruption is taking us.

And if done correctly it will engage your reader better in your story!

If you find little suggestions like this helpful, you can get a bunch of them. Simply enter my Word Weaver Writing Contest, and each entry gets a critique by ME!

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For details on how to enter and get your critique, click HERE

7 thoughts on “How To Interrupt

  1. My “sin” when it comes to writing interruptions is having them occur too conveniently, like when two characters are talking and are interrupted by a third party as soon as the important information is delivered. So the interruption is just there to move the plot.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep. It can’t be easy or convenient for good storytelling.

      I was watching back to the future last night, and there are so many little places where they put one more obstacle in between character and the goal. It’s amazing. That’s why that movie is so much fun to watch. Nothing, or almost nothing, happens without yet another obstacle – or two or three – getting in the way. Even at the end, when doc brown is going have a lightning bolt hit the car at exactly the right moment: Marty is late, the cord gets unplugged, then doc brown goes up to fix it and it’s snagged on a tree and it won’t reach, then he falls and has to hang onto the clock hands to make it happen. I mean, who thinks of that? I would think of one of those things but not all three. That’s great storytelling.

      Nothing should happen easily.

      Put your characters of a tree and just pelt the living daylights out of them with rocks.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t know how definite Candace is as a character. I assume she is somewhat insecure. Get out of her head. She doesn’t have to reveal every thought, just the general sense. Hence: Dispense with some of the adverbs and the words. “She sat on the park bench {chair in a coffee shop, wherever} hoping to have fun. (Tell what she observes; do it in detail but briefly)
    Candace wondered whether she was having fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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