Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday's Inspiration - A story is... #MFRWauthor

Once again I'm looking at just what a story is and am using small quotes from Dwight V. Swain's Techniques of a Selling Writer. "A story is a chain of scenes and sequences."

Every scene in a story has a beginning, a middle and an end. The scene builds the conflict between the characters who all have desires they want to fulfill. The scene is lived by the characters and will involve the reader. There are a number of types of scenes, probably as many as the writer can dream up. A scene is something the character must experience with another character and both have desires. Usually only one of these characters can have their desire fulfilled. It is possible the character in the scene may not be another person. Nature can be a character the focus person is battling against. Society can also be the character in a sense. The scene always ends in defeat for one of the participants. The scene leads to the sequel.

The sequel represents the down time, the time for considering other options on the way to reaching the goal. The sequel also changes the tempo of the story giving the character and the reader time to breathe and to think. I've read many stories where the scene is so intense that I find it hard to breathe. Something needs to change. Time is needed to take a breath and to consider what comes next. There have been times while writing a scene that my pen flies over the paper so rapidly I'm not sure what I'm writing. A time comes when I find I can't go on and thus must end the scene and allow myself and the character to think about what has happened. This is the sequel.

So to find the trick one must balance scene and sequel. A story with all scenes never gives the reader or the character time to reflect. A story that is mostly sequel will become boring.

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