Writing a Volcano Eruption Scene

Kilauea in the News

By Annette Rey

Exciting action scenes capture the interest of readers. Kilauea is currently very active and aside from the human tragedy, as writers you may want to pay attention to this subject and practice writing these real life events. Eventually, you may elaborate upon them and include these pieces in a future work.

You can experiment writing about this from different points of view.

1) Write from the viewpoint of a news reporter. Take facts you are hearing now from a collection of news broadcasts. Then put together your factual report, putting yourself on the site, interviewing victims, and recording what you have witnessed. Include medical realities of human exposure to sulfur fumes. Add ecological effects of lava flows on the flora (plant life) and fauna (animal life).

2) Write a memoir from the viewpoint of a victim. Pay attention to the same facts from the news and write creatively as if your house has been overcome by a hot, fire-spewing lava flow. Relate how you barely escaped. Insert emotion of loss and fear at the time of escape, and fear and uncertainty for the future. Did your character get support from the local community? What happened beyond the temporary help? Was your victim forced to relocate to the mainland? You can carry this story a long way, all the way to her resettling where you choose her to be, and beyond.

3) Write from the viewpoint of local residents; and there are many types around the island. Do research on the geographical layout of the island, where the neighborhoods are in relation to the volcano. Does your character fear and run, or opt to stay? What are their options? Get detailed. Your resident has a family. Add drama; maybe she is near her due date to deliver a child. Maybe your character supports his family and can’t afford to leave, yet he knows their lives are threatened.

4) Write strictly from the viewpoint of an interviewer. Create your questions and answers you receive from your target persons. You choose who they are. Hospital staff would be good subjects, as would be police officers. Interviewing of the governor and his staff could evolve into an exposé of withholding funds to help the public… Remember, this is fiction. I am not suggesting that the governor is engaging in such behavior.

You can start researching at this government site:

https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/gas.html

This exercise is good writing experience.

  1. It could prepare you for a real life experience you may be faced with in your future.
  2. It’s a research opportunity.
  3. The varied material you uncover should give you dozens of ways to use it.
  4. And it’s another example of how you can beat writer’s block.

There’s a world of subjects to write about and from many different angles.

So, give this one a try.

(image from https://www.freeimages.com/search/volcano)

 

 

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