In a scene I had recently submitted I had forgotten why readers come to novels in the first place. The advantage of novels over movies is we can get the character’s internal thoughts and motivations and expectations as they are going through an experience, so that we able to experience the story at a much deeper level. This is why we choose to read a novel that takes 10 hours to complete rather than the 2 hour movie version. We come for the internalizations.

My scene had read like this: Josh does this. Then he does that. And oh wow, he’s surprised by this. So he reacts in this way. And on and on I went, describing perception and action repeatedly with the occasional thought. My coach said, none of this works.

“What makes a scene deeper are the internalizations” - my coach.

So the next time I wrote, I allowed myself more freedom to just go, write what’s on my mind and just tell the scene just as I would experience it. And all those Internalizations I had been lacking — all my character’s motivations and expectations and backstory — poured out onto the page.

On top of that getting out of my way made scene writing fun and playful, rather than feeling I must get these concepts in the scene, I must have a hook and I must create tension through emotion, and on and on. Then, what’s brilliant is you can hone these internalizations down into only what’s important. You can become a sculptor, chiseling away at your brick of internalizations. And soon we get to a place that only stories can offer, a deeper truth than reality.