On Defining A Scene

I have read articles on scenes creation where it tells you to write a sentence stating what is supposed to happen during the scene. I have never done that before. I never thought it would be useful. Until now. I downloaded the beta version of Scrivener for Windows (thank you Lex!) and despite a few crashes, I have used it to actually write my whole dragon short story on it. It is kinda nice.

Anyway, among other things, it inspires me to write a short a description of each scene. The scene’s “index card” shows on a corkboard (the background really does look like a cork board!) and it shows the description. Like so:

Introduce is misspelled on the second index card, but ignore that. I didn’t need the description for the first two scenes, I just liked to see it there. I knew exactly what I wanted and how to go about it. No real doubts.

But the third scene, the one I had so much trouble, my description was a real guide. I kept going back and forth from my scene to the description. My description was: “She makes a potion and something goes wrong.” The most important part about it is the “something goes wrong”. When I wrote that, I didn’t know what was going to go wrong, only that something was. Seeing it right in front of helped me focus on that, helped me figure out what might go wrong.

Otherwise, I would have just meandered, gone here, gone there, but not really ended up anywhere. I did that in the beginning anyway and I am pretty sure my meandering would have been worse if the description hadn’t been there in front of my face.

So lesson learned. Write a short description for each scene.

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7 thoughts on “On Defining A Scene

  1. That helps me, too. I used to write detailed summaries for each scene so I wouldn’t lose focus, but I don’t need to do that anymore. Now I just have a very short summary that describes the gist and I write! But I’ve always been a plotter…

  2. You’re welcome… I got distracted and haven’t fixed the problems I had with it yet.

    Short description for each scene. That’s really good advice. Thank you.

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