Plotting To Be Scene – Part Eight
I am studying how to plot, and the relationship of plots to scenes. I recently completed my first draft of Scepter’s Sacrifice, and know that, once I start revising and editing my story, I will have much work to do. I am using James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure to help me learn to write more professionally. In Bell’s eighth chapter, Complex Plots, he includes three exercises.
You can see my answers to Part Seven.
EXERCISE ONE – Make three columns: details, main characters, settings. Look for connection points between the columns. In some order, connect details with characters or places. Pick your strongest connections, and see if you can weave them into your plot as motifs(distinctive feature or dominant idea) or symbols.
When I read this exercise, I realized I hadn’t done well when writing my WIP. So, I set it aside and didn’t come back to it for several days. When I did, I had either grown enough courage to answer it, or I understood it better. I won’t insert my table here. Instead, I will explain my revelations.
Every element was there for me to answer Bell’s questions, but I had been too timid. So, there was no way they were going to make it into my story. I really didn’t know what my story meant, when I wrote it. And I missed some pretty obvious stuff.
My settings could become powerful players in my story. And, with some effort, my characters could use, own, or do things which symbolize their own lives. But, to make them work, I need to write them into my story with enough detail to make them stick, positively, in my reader’s mind.
Jaeni’s European Capital is alien to its continent, and represents Europe’s intent to remake North America. I could pick, as symbolic of this, how quickly trees grow, and how, annually, they mount drives to cut down unwanted trees in villages, roads and fields. Some of my characters would most strongly relate to their Capital (Christor, Alessandran, Sharshin, Shen Rekmon) Continue reading