Guest Blogger Stephen Richards: Creating a Scene

Guest Blogger Stephen Richards: Creating a Scene

When I first read Steve Richard’s Opus Angelicus, I had the same reaction to his title character Angel as most female readers. Here was the ultimate “dream man.” I swooned, I sighed, I nearly inhaled the words. I couldn’t wait to read more of his adventures with the book’s leading lady and get lost in this erotic tale of a woman who uncovers her own sensuality and fulfills her fantasies at the hands of one of the most unusual and powerful “book boyfriends” I had yet to stumble upon in my romance and erotica literary journey. It wasn’t until stepping back and looking at this writer’s work more closely that I was able to identify what it was about his storytelling style that captivated my attention and that of many other readers so much.

 

Steve has a precision with language that is unmatched and an uncanny ability to place the reader directly into the scene. I asked him if he would be willing to share with my blog readers a little peek into his process of how he approaches his writing and builds a world that we as readers can so easily and willingly enter. I appreciate Steve being a guest blogger during Summer Blog Takeover 2015. He has been hard at work on his next story, a foray into the world of erotic horror, but he took a few moments from his writing to share his thoughts on laying the groundwork to build a compelling scene. Thanks, Steve, for taking part. So happy to hand you the reins this week at my blog! ~ Chris

 

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Creating a Scene by Stephen Richards

I’ve always been an avid reader and I greatly admire writers such as Anais Nin, Clive Barker and Tiffany Reisz, to name just a few, for the effortless way in which they create such wonderful images that just draw you into their world.  It wasn’t until I sat down and tried writing myself, that I realised that this stuff doesn’t come easy! What we don’t see, as a reader, is all the hard work, all the edits, all the rewrites, as you struggle to come up with just the right words – the right descriptions that’ll pull the reader in.

 

Here’s how I go about involving the reader and making them part of what’s going on. First, I have an idea of how I want a scene to look and spend some time visualising the characters involved, the setting, what they say and how they react. Then I create a kind of movie scene in my head that I watch.

 

When I’m happy with this, I go ahead and describe on the page what I’m looking at in my mind, always trying to get the maximum amount of image for the smallest amount of words (otherwise you can end up with a really wordy screenplay and your readers leave in droves!)  It’s also a very organic process in that, as I’m writing the dialogue or the description, certain words or phrases will alter my original idea and the whole “movie” will morph into something different, striking off on another tangent that usually proves better than my initial thoughts and surprises me!

 

I try to limit my descriptions of the characters as well, usually just highlighting one or two particular features and then sketching the rest with broad strokes. This leaves the reader to fill in the details and picture their ideal person in the role.  After I’ve got it down on paper, or should I say on the computer screen, then I’ll take a little break and step back, make a cup of tea or whatever. Often during these pauses, new ideas will come to me – maybe a change of “scenery” or some additional dialogue – and I quickly rush back and make the changes before I forget! After that, it’s just re-reading and tweaking until the whole thing is finished and I’m happy with it – which is usually never! There’s always room for improvement!

 

As an example, here’s a paragraph from my latest work in progress, an erotic horror story. The following scene is from the prologue and is called Prey. It’s a description of what I could see in my mind’s eye…

 

He crouched in the dense undergrowth, hidden from prying eyes, watching… waiting… hunting.
His acute hearing picked up the sound of a group of revellers out for the night, his sensitive nose twitching as the smell of beer and sweat and stale urine washed over him.

Men…

Disgusting…

He growled deep in his throat as they passed, the guttural sound lost in their shouts and cries of drunken bravado.

His mind filled with images of screaming and torn bodies; he shook his head to clear them and let the men go.

He waited…Waited…

His ears pricked as a new sound came. Another group… Their voices higher, lighter…

A long thread of drool distended from his vicious maw, pooling between his claws…

Women!

Tonight he would feed.

 

So, did that work for you? Could you see the images I was trying to portray? I hope so, because then it means I’m at least getting something right. Just have to work on making the whole thing entertaining enough that people will want to read it now!

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StephenRichards_revStephen Richards is the author of the erotic romance OPUS ANGELICUS. He has been hard at work on his next book, PROMETHEAN, as he crosses into the world of erotic horror. When he’s not creating lush and sultry worlds on the page, this Wales native can be found building a different kind of paradise with his wife in their Cardiff garden, which they affectionately call The Bodacious Oasis. Readers can stay up to date on Steve’s latest book news and sign up to receive email alerts for new blog posts at www.opusangelicus.com.

2 Comments

  1. Deb Lane

    Brilliant read – thank you!!!

    • chriskuhn

      I couldn’t agree more! 🙂 Thanks for supporting my guest bloggers, Deb. Appreciate it! xo ~ Chris

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