Set the Scene: Scan

Here’s another creative writing prompt for your 750 words, a challenge to write 750 words each day to better Think Like a Writer. Read more here.

Have you signed up for yet? Or will you try doing 750 words on paper? I’ve just completed my 20th day of doing 750 words!

Here’s another creative writing prompt for your 750 words, a challenge to write 750 words each day in January to better Think Like a Writer. The next three days of Thinking Like a Writer are all connected and I’ll explain it here, then just remind you of the prompts for the next two days.

A scan is a way to show a crowd scene economically, yet in an interesting way. It involves a series of small zooms: the quarterback’s mother is taping the game with a new video camera that she borrowed money to buy; the coach’s pencil is hovering over two names, trying to decide if he’ll start the injured quarterback or his backup; the head cheerleader is trying to shake off a headache and wondering if that red pill the quarterback gave her would help or not. In a short paragraph, you get the complexities of the crowd!

As always, start with the basic sensory details list, but this time you skip around. You can do full details for the coach, the quarterback’s mother, the quarterback, and the head cheerleader if you want; or you can do partials for each, but focus on getting great “telling details.” If you’re rusty on doing sensory details–and you have to fill out your 750 words anyway–go ahead and do the full sensory details list for each. Then you’ll have a wide selection to choose from as you Think Like a Writer.

And when would you use a Scan?

Start Your Novel

Buy on Amazon

Start Your Novel by Darcy Pattison
You want to write a novel, but you don’t know where to start. You have a great idea and–well, that’s all. This book explains the writing process of starting a novel in six winning steps.

Starting the Journey
Why Editors Focus on Page 1
STEP ONE: Clarify Your Idea
STEP TWO: Review Your Skills
STEP THREE: Plan the Opening Chapter
STEP FOUR: Plan the Opening Line
STEP FIVE: Now, Write!
STEP SIX: Revise

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