Demystify Series: Writing A Scene (Prepping for NANOWRIMO)

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This is my new feature on how to demystify the writing process.

How To Write A Scene

1. Who:  Pick two characters. Give your PROTAGONIST a special GIFT that, in its negative extreme, can be a FLAW. Give the protagonist a tangible WANT.

2. What: Have the ANTAGONIST present an OBSTACLE to the protagonist so the latter has trouble attaining their want.

3. When/Where: Make sure that your scene takes place in one specific span of TIME and at one PLACE. In other words SHOW the action of the scene rather than telling through exposition.

4. How: Use DIALOGUE to show EXTERNAL CONFLICT between the characters. Use original (non-cliche) DESCRIPTION so we can see, hear, smell, taste and feel the scene and the characters, but don't put the description in big chunks. WEAVE it into the action of the scene. Use INTERIOR THOUGHT to trace the INTERNAL CONFLICT of the protagonist. Alternate between dialogue, description and interior thought. If you find that one is easier than the others, write a rough draft using just that and add the others. I suggest starting with dialogue and external conflict first and adding the others in.

5. Why: What is the THEME you want to convey with this scene? If you're not sure, think about the protagonist's flaw and what they NEED in order to overcome it. That will usually give you the theme.  Try to state it for yourself in a cause/effect sentence i.e. "If you open your heart you will find love." Themes can sound cliche and trite when you state them in this way but your scene/novel can make them into something unique, original and fresh.

Voila! You have a scene. You are welcome to post them here!  If you write enough of them, you will have a rough draft of a novel. I suggest you do NANOWRIMO in November.

Love,

flb

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