Thursday, April 6, 2017

How to Explode a Moment in Creative Writing?

E is for Exploding the Moment:

Exploding the moment is the style of descriptive writing where a scene is described as if it were happening in slow motion. 

A single important sentence from your manuscript when exploded transforms into a brilliant paragraph that paints a scene or describes an event.

Exploding a moment helps to slow down the narrative and gives a sensory experience to the reader.

How to explode a moment?

During very important moments in your life, the scenes get imprinted in your memory vividly. You will remember what you spoke, saw, felt, thought, and heard.

 That is exactly what you want your reader to experience through your writing.

Let me try to explain it with an example:

Look at this scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where Harry visits the grave of his parents.

Moment: Harry laid the wreath of Christmas roses, which Hermione had conjured, on his parent’s grave and then walked away with her, unable to stand the grief.

Exploded Moment:

“Hermione had taken his hand again and was gripping it tightly. He could not look at her, but returned the pressure, now taking deep, sharp gulps of the night air, trying to steady himself, trying to regain control. He should have brought something to give them, and he had not thought of it, and every plant in the graveyard was leafless and frozen. But Hermione raised her wand, moved it in a circle through the air, and a wreath of Christmas roses blossomed before them. Harry caught it and laid it on his parent's grave.
As soon as he stood up he wanted to leave: He did not think he could stand another moment there. He put his arm around Hermione's shoulders, and she put hers around his waist, and they turned in silence and walked away through the snow, past Dumbledore's mother and sister, back toward the dark church and the out-of-sight kissing gate.”

From this example, you can see how the scene loses its intensity when it is explained using a single sentence. This entire scene would have happened within a few seconds.

What JK Rowling did was to explode the moment by incorporating Harry’s emotions, the descriptions of the graveyard and Hermione’s actions, making the reader experience the entire scene through Harry’s eyes.

If you want to explode a moment, these are the questions that will help you:
  • Where is the scene happening?
  • What is the character hearing?
  • What is the character feeling?
  • What is the character doing?
  • What is the character saying?

Now, answer these questions using two or more sentences and arrange them according to the sequence it happened. Voila, you have exploded a moment.

Using this technique, describe scenes which are significant to the story.

 It should be something that fleshes out the character, introduces a conflict or something dramatic that will hold the attention of the reader.

 It can be a humorous anecdote, an action scene or an emotional one.

 During this A-Z April Challenge, I am exploring the A-Z journey of writing a Novel with examples from Literature.
The Letter of the day is E

Linking this post  to Blogging from A-Z

Have you read the Letters A  B  D ?


  1. this is a really good explanation- thank you. I plan to write when a few other things in life is sorted, and I will have to remember this

    My A to Z:
    change your thinking

  2. Now that was a very good explanation Preethi. I guess this is one thing I need to learn more. I never had thought how exploding a moment makes it so much better!


  3. great share! another way of looking at it is to slow down when the scene is important. thanks for the technique :)

  4. The explanation is good and a very apt example....i am unable to recollect that scene from Hp... Must read those books again

    E for Egg

  5. Thats a very smart way of breaking down writing of a specail moment.Excellent tips Preethi.So glad you are sharing your journey wiuth us on #MondayMommyMoments

    1. Glad to be part of #MMM, Amrita.Thanks for reading.

  6. Oh I didnt know you were doing A to Z. Nice post with good tips. Thanks for linking up with #MondayMommyMoments

    1. Glad you liked it. Yeah, I had almost opted out at the last moment. :P

  7. That's some great tips, Preethi. Would love reading your A to Z challenge post. #MMM

    1. Will look forward to you dropping by Neha! Thank you for reading.