I was actually asked some writing questions the other day. Who the deuce would ask ME for advice? But I happened to have a little.
Here are some thoughts on writing that smallest unit of a story: the scene (reprise):
First off, what is a scene? What defines it?
Something changes between the beginning and end of a scene.
Here's a way to write one if you're stuck. These are the things to figure out that go on BENEATH the dialogue:
First, you have to know where you're at in your story. Who is your character and what do they want, in terms of the entire narrative? Where does this scene fit into that larger narrative?
Then, figure out what they want in this particular scene, and how they're going to go about getting it.
Finally, figure out what's in the way of achieving what they want. (conflict! Making things more difficult for our characters is what drives a story forward and makes us want to root for them!).
If the readers can anticipate the conflict in some way, that can help. If your detective is going in to question someone, maybe we can get a look at how busy/grumpy/difficult that other person might be. Or maybe we know the protagonist has to LIE about something, and we're anticipating whether they're going to be found out. Maybe the protagonist's goal is to close the window, and only the AUDIENCE knows there's a killer hiding outside. That's still conflict!
When the obstacle is overcome, or not, the scene is over.
On another note, I was quite chagrined to hear about the impending deletion of the IMDB message boards. The database of all movies and TV shows is one of the most useful and enjoyable things on the ‘Net (next to the Duck, natch), and I’ve gleaned a TON of insights, recommendations, and laughter from the message boards over there.
Am I crazy that hiring moderators is a much more sensible solution than axing the whole thing because of trolling? Unless the true motivation is something they're not telling us, it seems like a move that will only hurt the site and diminish the Internet.
Or maybe for entertainment discussion, social media is where it's at, like they're telling us. Maybe I'm just an old luddite, but I disagree. Facebook and Twitter is NOT where I want to discuss Friday the 13th part seven.
Have a good Thursday!
Banes at 12:00AM, Feb. 9, 2017
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