Go Ahead. Make a Scene.

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Let me go out on a squirrel-infected limb here, and take a guess about you. Here goes– unless you’re a “Real Housewife of (Wherever),” it’s unlikely you would intentionally make a scene in public.

Am I right?

I knew it!

Receiving positive attention from friends or colleagues is swell, but drawing every eye in the room because you did something outrageous or embarrassing, well, that’s un-swell.

For writers of novels, however, making a scene can be a sign of progress. My wise chocolate mint grasshoppers, you know I’m referring to a scene in a story.

I plotted by current WIP by making a simple bullet point list. Thanks to that list, the writing moved along swimmingly [cue ominous music] until I got snagged on a BIG perplexing plot point. I felt daunted and discouraged.

wavesThen, I found a detour! I studied my bullet list. I picked a few points later in the novel that I felt ready to imagine. I wrote those scenes. Wow! That felt good. As I progressed from one scene to another, in any order, I experienced the delight of forward motion. I sailed from Daunted > Encouraged > Empowered. Those good vibes are infusing me with the courage I need to draft the tricky scenes I skipped.

A time to knit these disparate scenes together will come, and (gulp) I’m excited to see how well that process will work. If it doesn’t, I will scream @#$%&!! in the middle of a crowded restaurant, then sweep my arm across a table to upend coffee cups, slide china to the floor to shatter and send the salt shaker flying. Next, I’d quack and skip out the door with a bread basket on my head. Now, THAT would be a scene.

If you are slogging your way through a first draft and feel stuck,  why not free yourself to write a scene for any point in your novel–Act I, II or III. It may be just what you need.

As a bonus, here’s a practical, energizing article from Writer’s Digest with ten tips for launching strong scenes. And, as a bonus-bonus (that’s a thing), here are more options for regaining your momentum.

My best wishes to you as you craft your scenes. Pass your tips along too!

“[on scene execution] Interesting isn’t the point…storytelling momentum and relevance is.” ― Larry BrooksStory Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction

6 responses »

  1. Your posts always put me in a good humor, because you have such a great sense of humor. You’re so funny. I love the advice pieces you post with a bit of humor included. We all need to laugh more.

    Like

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