Saturday, October 8, 2016

Sense of Scene

Why did she do that? What was the point of that? Who was that supposed to hurt?

These are the types of questions I've got going through my head today and for the next few days.  I don't know what sort of writer you tend to be (because no one is so one dimensional), but I tend to be a plotter. Big time. I want to know that I've got a handle on the story before I spend months working on it. For my newest war of wordage I have all the scenes laid out and divided into chapters. Each scene is described very briefly so I get the gist of it. But that is only the start.

My next task is to delve into each of those scenes and flesh them out. Give all the minor characters names and that sort of jazz that would normally stop me in my creative tracks. More importantly, I make sure I know what the POV character's conflict and motivation is. This story is easy in that I only have one POV character. The conflict is important so I know what is at stake in each scene. If nothing is at stake, I either need to ditch it or make it short and to the point. Side-tracks should be no more than a quick peek through the door then moving on. The motivation is important so I know how and why the character is going to approach the problem.

This may seem excessive to all you pantsers out there but it has proven to be extremely helpful to me when writing the scene. Sure, I sometimes have to make changes as I go as my characters often have a way of saying things I did not intend them to say, but that's where the fun is. I may have everything plotted, scripted, and charted, but I know the story is going right when I have to stop now and then to pull a monkey wrench out of the well-oiled gears I built. No one ever admits to throwing it, but I have a good idea... I'm looking at you, Muse.

So get back to writing. Hopefully you've got your own monkey wrench wielding Muse waiting for you.

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