Journal Entry Describe what you see now. Title it.
Exploding a Moment Writing a Scene in Slow-Motion: Using Snapshots, Explode the Moment Thoughtshots, and Shrink a Century
Hypersensitivity of your senses Imagine that all of your senses are set to hypersensitivity, meaning that you now have a heighten sense of sight, smell, touch, taste and hear. You can see every detail, smell things in the air, your touch is so sensitive that you can feel everything, you can even taste things that are in the air, and you can hear every sound including the beating of your own heart and those around you. Then reexamine the photo and write what your senses sense when they are set to hypersensitivity mode.
Describe what you see now with your hypersensitive senses. Title it.
What are Snapshots? Snapshots ask writers to put on their writing binoculars and help readers create pictures in their minds. Writers can create snapshots by describing every part of a scene in great detail. Be creative! Be specific! Some of the best snapshots are those that use at least two of the five senses. What does this scene smell like? What does it look and feel like? Now you try it. Looking back at what you have written, highlight where you have used imagery to provide more detail to create a snapshot in the reader’s mind. Now take one of those sentences and “Explode the Moment.”
Explode the Moment “…allows writers to stretch the exciting seconds of their stories into what seems like hours, creating suspense for the reader to savor.” Slow motion, step by step. Provide your reader with a frame-by-frame picture of the action. SHOW don’t TELL—paint a picture, freeze an image with your words. Describe in intricate detail. Zoom in closer and closer. Try using similes or metaphors, vivid words, and your senses to create your image.
Explode the Moment Select one of your snapshots and slow it down, frame-by-frame.
Thoughtshot Tell, don’t show. Share your inner thoughts and feelings as a writer. Put yourself in the scene. Use Internal Monologue: what are you thinking at that very moment? Use Flashback: think back about something that has already happened. Flash-Ahead: think about something that is going to happen or might happen in the future. Writers often use flash- aheads when a character is trying to make a decision. Pick a point of view: a different perspective.
Create a Thoughtshot Select one of the people in the photo and “tell don’t show.”
Shrink a Century Show the passage of time. Show the passing of a long period of time with one or two sentences. Focus on the importance or meaning of the time rather than details. For example, “She died.” doesn’t reveal the importance or the meaning of the experience. More effective, “We married in the spring; she died in the fall. It was bitterest winter of my life.”
Create a Shrink the Moment Reveal the passage of time by omitting detail, but revealing the importance and meaning of the experience.
Writer’s Toolbox Techniques Snapshot Tips: Use two or more of the five senses: hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling, seeing. Use literary and poetic devices. Remember showing, not telling! To Explode a Moment Tips: Tell, don’t show. Set the scene in slow motion, frame-by-frame Thoughtshot Tips and Techniques: Flashback Flash-Ahead Internal Dialogue Shrink a Century Tips: Compress a large amount of time, but reveal the importance and meaning of the experience.