Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Scene & Structure #8 - Are your scenes in order?

So today's chapter was really helpful for me. It was all about linking your scenes, which can be a problem. I have sat at my laptop staring, wondering how I was going to get my character to move from point A to point B. I love setting up the scene for my characters and deciding just how much information is going to be revealed or any at all. (Yes, I know....mean, right? What can I say....I told you last week torture was good for them. LOL. Anyway, so today lets hook these scenes together! Transitions and Sequels! If I could really get good at this I would be able to write a book every couple of months.

Ok, so we've started our transition and are trying to create a sequel or segway to the new scene. For the character, he/she is facing a new dilemma. I like how Jack puts it "an unexpected but logical disaster". Isn't that fabulous. Unexpected! But logical. We must always remember to move the story forward. He makes a good point later that in 'real' life some people never recover from a disaster, they mope and cry and moan about for the rest of their life. NOT SO, in fiction. These characters can NEVER be stagnant. Remember fiction is about entertaining. What happens when you start watching a movie or a TV show and it's boring or so slow you start not even caring if you finish it. *raising hand* Yep, I've so been there. I don't know about you, but I have read a few books where after a chapter I was not invested and I put the book down. Usually I never returned to it. I do not want anyone to ever do that with my book. I want them to stay up all night reading it, because they can't wait to find out what happens next.

So most sequels start out with some type of emotion on the part of the hero/heroine. We need to be sure we are delving into the characters thoughts and feelings (POV) so that we can connect the reader to why the scene they just read is so important. Why write it, if it's not important? Every scene must count emotionally for the character and the reader. The transition/sequel give an opportunity for reflection.

There are three ways to do this.
1) Description
When you see this method, it should seem as if time stood still while the reader described the thoughts going on in the character's head.
2) Example
Examples are used when writers show their characters emotion through movement or action. A fist through a wall, throwing something, slapping their forehead, walking aimlessly. A lot of times using this method will help your reader engage and try to make their own conclusions about the disaster and what it means. In other words, it gets the reader's juices flowing. Just be sure you don't do this every single time. You don't want the reader to always be completely in the dark.....or maybe you do? Who am I to say.
3) Discussion
This is exactly what it sounds like. Readers learn through dialogue with multiple characters what your hero/heroine is thinking or feeling. They express it through what is said.

Alright, we discussed what to do with emotion. Moving on... Now, thought is next. Our hero/heroine is moving on the next stage of the transition/sequel. We know how they feel. What are they going to plan? First, they must review(a) what just happened to them. It can be brief or it can be lengthy, remember you are reminding the reader of what is important. Next, they analyze(b) or figure out what just happened and why. Then, the planning(c) begins. How is the hero/heroine going to respond to this new dilemma or disaster? Remember, always move forward.

Once our sturdy hero/heroine is done thinking, they must make a choice - a decision. This is the next progression. When a choice is made by the character on how to move forward, it should align with the story goal. Even if the path taken to get there has been altered, it should always align with the ultimate goal of the story and it should be clear to the reader. Why you say?
(1) First, it's important for the reader to realize that the character has picked a new course of action and is ready to move into it. (2) Second, stipulation of the new goal begins to prepare the reader for the next confrontation or scene; it heightens anticipation and suspense. (3) Third, we have already seen that understanding of the scene goal is vital to the readers's understanding of the scene and the things that are at stake.
Action! Lastly, the character much take his/her thoughts and decisions and take action. They must buy a plane ticket, get in their car, call somebody, etc... something has to happen....and VOILA! You are in your next scene. Congratulations you have transitioned to the next exciting, jaw dropping, scene in your story!!!
Happy Writing
Happy Reading
Krystal Shannan


  1. I just love these posts, Krystal! Awesome information, chicklette. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoy them! They really help keep me accountable to keep reading and learning. Otherwise, I might not finish the book and miss out on some valuable information. :-)