Choosing Scenes

There’s a million ‘actions’ to paint. The tough choice is deciding which ones, otherwise the story would occur in real time—that would take too long to write!

Composing, I tend to jump right in with the scene that spawned my enthusiasm—the moment that inspired me to write. I like to get out the raw thoughts. As I’m writing, new angles, plot twists, and character experiences come to mind. Usually, this happens when I’m in the middle of a good section and new ideas start popping. The story unfolds in chunks—scenes—and I’m desperate not to lose anything, so I’ve learned to [insert] editorial ideas when I think them. However, I’m always looking for a natural pause in the action to wind up a scene.  Somehow, it just happens—like when you know a melody is right for a song. Other days, I want to cheap out and I really have to force myself to complete a scene—the grind of sculpting.

Here’s a traditional story with the opening and closing scene:


Here’s a more dramatic construction of scenes:


One of gaboo’s time lines:

middle——-jump back———change characters——-dream sequence of ending——-original character———jump ahead——-more middle——-spot where a sequel would fit nicely—————more vision of the end——-point of view shift——-jump way back——–middle starts again through different character——–middle starts to climax——-point of view shift again——-resolution—–alternative ending——beginning—-end

Each scene has its own pace. Some creep along with second by second detail. Other scenes jump across time spans with an overview style. The plot, or collection of scenes, might read like it was planned, but alas, I was just bored during parts and came back later to fill in the detail through the eyes of another character. Also, don’t discount the editor. Lot’s of scenes get flipped and cut. Of course, the story decides. Happy drafting!

2 Responses to “Choosing Scenes”
  1. curly says:

    Hell, the story arc outline alone deserves a DONT TRY THIS AT HOME warning label. Known to cause brain damage.

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