Escape Tunnel

Sometimes I wish I were transported to a magical kingdom full of chefs and housekeepers and of course a masseuse. I’d bring my family to explore rooms filled with wall to wall books, chocolate and an occasional roller coaster. We’d play at the beach and build a snowman all on the same day. And finish up with a mug of hot chocolate.

Reality is harsh sometimes when we come back to earth to face a heap of laundry, a ‘to do’ list the size of an unabridged dictionary and a pile of dishes in the sink. Yes, there are those treasures like family and friends, but all of us want to escape sometimes.

Readers pick up our novels to escape into another world. It’s our responsibility as authors to give it to them. Good news, while we write of this other world we can experience it too. The fun part is we get to decide what our story world is like.

How can you transport your reader to escape in your story world? Close your eyes and imagine yourself as the character.

Ask yourself the following questions:

*What is the main emotion you are feeling right now? Example: Fear, Sadness, Love, Panic, etc.

*Are there any objects in this room that show how you feel? Example: A chipped mug- broken

*What would you notice in this scene with the emotion you are feeling? Example: If a child is afraid of the dark, in a dark room they will notice shadows and probable monsters, not the soft and cuddly teddy bear.

*Is there anyone else in this room that feels the same way you do, or the opposite? Hint: We can use other characters to mirror or show opposite of our Point of View character’s emotion.

*What do you see, hear, smell, taste, or feel in this scene? Hint: Try to involve all of the senses.

*What are you thinking in this scene? Hint: Character’s goal in this scene will impact what they are thinking.

*Who else is in this scene with you? How do they affect your senses and thoughts? What  are they doing? Hint: Try to think of mannerisms and things that go beyond the facial expressions. Have them interact with the setting.

*How do you interact with your setting? Hint: Use beats to show your characters actions that interact with the setting.

*What do you say that sounds uniquely like yourself? What are your favorite words, or culture bits that could filter into your dialogue? Hint:  A cowboy talks different from a city professor.

What kind of story world details do I love as a reader?

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About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

8 thoughts on “Escape Tunnel

  1. Pat Trainum says:

    Great list to keep handy! I like story world details that move the story along, and that I actually don’t notice. If I do, then it takes me out of the story. Great post, Michelle!

  2. Teresa says:

    I love weather details and cultural details linked to the location of the story. Weather is a wonderful way to parallel or contrast the mood of characters.

  3. Michelle Lim says:

    Weather is our mood music on the page. In the movie “Twister” I love the scene where they go into the barn and tie themselves to the pipes. They make all of the farm tools look like the most dangerous thing in the world, which they were in that situation. It is a great example of setting enhancing the emotions of the scene.

  4. These are great questions, Michelle! I’m meeting with my local writer’s group tomorrow to talk about brainstorming. I am going to post this to our FB page today (we have a separate FB for our group) so the others can benefit, too. I know it’ll help. Thanks!

  5. Michelle Lim says:

    Thanks, Michelle! Glad to help.

  6. Pamela Dowd says:

    Love this! Great job. I was just sitting here, ahem . . . “preparing” to write (aka reading your blog). There’s this great photo in the office where I’m sitting of men from the 1940s standing ourside a building, wearing their undershorts, shirts and ties and shoes, having a putting competition. The sign overhead reads Play Golf FREE while having your SUIT PRESSED. The question about objects in the room and how you feel made me LOL. Uh, like I’ll be standing expossed if I don’t stop “preparing” and start writing the next scene.

    It’s off to work I go . . , Ha!

  7. Michelle Lim says:

    That’s funny, Pamela! Glad you liked the post. Enjoy your writing today!

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