Slowing down seconds in a story
Let’s say, in a story you are writing, that you want a young miscreant to put a mouse onto his teacher’s desk.
How long should you take to describe the event?
How many sentences would be best?
In real life, the mouse would bound across the desk in a flash. Yet, think of all that happens in those brief milliseconds…
The teacher’s expression changes to horror and the blood drains from her face. She backs up frantically and loses her balance, which then upsets her chair, which topples in a startling CRASH!
The rascal who did this begins to laugh uncontrollably, and some of the other children in the class do, too. However, at least some of the students are as alarmed as the teacher, and frantically start searching the floor as soon as they lose sight of the mouse—because they hope it isn’t coming their way and crawling up their tights!
And, I haven’t yet said one word about the tiny mouse! He might be more terrified than anyone else!. His eyes might be bulging and his little heart might be pounding right out of his chest. No doubt, all he wants to do is find a cool, dark hole through which to retreat!
We could simply scribble down, “Joey Jamison, the class clown, put a mouse in Ms. Albanese’s desk and it scared the daylights out of her.” But if that is all we write for the reader, then the reader might be missing out on so much more that is actually taking place!