Friday, November 19, 2010

Writer's Tip - Scenes

Scenes are vital to telling a story. When making sure all your scenes need to be in your story, there are points to remember. When Jane and I wrote Becoming Your Own Critique Partner, we called the chapter Is This Scene Necessary? Now I know I've written scenes that read well and may even be funny but they aren't necessary to the story. When developing a scene, one has to know the purpose of the scene. PURPOSE is the key word.

Scenes do one or more of four things. The more of these elements in a scene the more interest it gives to the story. They give life to a character, they advance the plot or they give the reader information. Now this doesn't mean setting up a scene that's a lecture. Writers have to be sneaky and get the information to the reader in ways that the reader might not immediately recognize. A scene also locates the character in time and place. Another time when the writer can get carried away. Remember writing stories is like painting pictures.

When writing a scene, the writer has to develop it. Summary is good for making quick changes but if what's happening in the scene it needs to be played out.

A scene is built by using some blocks. Description, dialogue both outer and inner and by physical action. All of these can be used in several ways such as characterization, in foreshadowing and setting up a problem to be solved.

One thing to be sure of is to have your major characters run the scene rather than minor ones. Minor characters can contribute to the situation but this isn't their story. The story belongs to the major characters.

So remember Purpose and direction. advancing the plot


Taryn Kincaid said...

So what's the fourth thing?

JL Walters said...

1. Characterization
2. Advance plot
3. Provide info reader needs
4. locates in time and space