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Debra Purdy Kong: The big scene
The author of the Casey Holland mysteries on making your best scenes into multi-taskers.
"The best scenes are multi-taskers that reveal something about characters, set a tone, and move the plot forward. Big scenes demand even more as readers expect a satisfying payoff. The key is in the details that best convey the emotion you want to create. Sensory details are a great tool. What do characters smell, hear, touch, or taste? Choose one or two dominate details and take your time with descriptions. Big scenes are not necessarily about what’s being said, but rather what’s being inferred. They comprise a careful combination of action, description, and dialogue to achieve that satisfying payoff."
Debra Purdy Kong is the author of the Casey Holland transit security mysteries, The Opposite of Dark, and the recently released Deadly Accusations. Over 100 of her short stories, essays, and articles have appeared in publications such as Chicken Soup for the Bride’s Soul, B.C. Parent Magazine, and The Vancouver Sun.