Scenes One – Five
My hands trembled.
I copied my old Scene One into my new Scrivener folder called Manuscript.
I stared at pages and pages of text. At least I wasn’t facing that blank page which terrifies so many of us.
Then…I giggled. I was doing what my heart had ached to do since I typed THE END back on October 4th.
I will try to capture my experiences and little lessons I learned. So, if you are looking to read my story, you have two choices. You could wait until I publish. Or, you could join Scribophile and become one of my critique partners. After all, I might want to sell this some day, right?
Scene One (March 21st)
Of all my scenes, I was so sure at least this scene wouldn’t change. I let Rosenfeld’s Make A Scene guide me as I analyzed my First Scene. Before making changes, I looked at my First and Final scenes. Rosenfeld emphasized that readers had to see changes with my MC. And…I sure hadn’t done that.
I also considered setting, something I hadn’t done well in any of my scenes. I wound up changing both scenes’ settings. I took my MC outdoors. Now, in her first scene she begins, with her son in her belly. In her final scene she begins with her son on her lap. Weather is an important factor in both scenes, with vastly different effects.
I also took to heart Rosenfeld’s other suggestions. Only Deheya and Christor appear. And they do not resolve their problem. And this problem will tear their lives apart, before they come back together.
Scene Two (March 22nd)
Scene Two was brand new. I used Rosenfeld’s thoughts on Dialog scenes. I thought I understood dialog scenes. But I had missed several key points. I hadn’t grounded my scenes well, so I paid attention to describing her bedroom. I used snipped from various websites to give me something to look at as I wrote. Nor did I know I needed to show new character or plot aspects. So, I revealed my MC’s people could do magic. Her husband’s people thought it was superstition.
I used this scene to introduce Alessandran, Deheya’s mother in law. I wrote it twice. In my first revision, I also introduced Hiiloo, now Deheya’s sister. My scene jerked and jumped, instead of behaving. More alarming, Hiiloo didn’t fare well in her first impression on readers. She came off as a bitchy slut. So…I took her out and kept it to just Deheya and Alessandran.
Scene Three (March 23rd)
Scene Three was also brand new, and I structured it as another Dialog. I introduced Hiiloo as Deheya’s sister, instead of her best friend. I revealed more of my magic system. And I went deeper into Deheya’s precarious situation, and her Father’s terrifying expectations for her.
Scene Four (March 24th)
My idea for Scene Four wasn’t new, but I had to change it almost beyond recognition. In my first draft, Uncle Sandar was my POV. In revising my story, Sandar’s POV disappeared. Still needing to show Christor’s anger and despair, I made Christor my POV. Changing my setting, I introduced two more characters. And I made mention of Jaeni’s use of gunpowder and muskets, which is new in this version. My MC’s people continue to rely on archery. Muskets provide little advantage and some disadvantages.
Scene Five (March 25th)
Scene Five was my first Dramatic scene. In Dramatic scenes, pressure drives people to make life changes. In my first draft, Deheya was pretty passive. She watched and reacted, but didn’t drive anything.
But, that isn’t how Dramatic scenes work. As tempting as changing POVs was, I won’t take scenes away from her. As my story stars out, I must keep reader attention and create sympathy for her.
I spent two paragraphs on setting, something I hadn’t done before. And I introduced several new characters. This all served to carry out Rosenfeld’s thoughts. I started with low emotion and plenty of tension and foreshadowing. I built up tension until my MC and her antagonist exploded. Everyone’s hair caught fire. As my scene wound down, she realized she needs to make major changes in her life.
An argument between her husband and her brother-in-law still happens. But it occurs later in my scene, and flows straight from her own outburst and anger.
I just hope I didn’t overdo it.
How Do I Feel About This?
I wanted to start introducing important characters. I’ve put seven of them in play, with six to go. While I’ve got them down on paper, I haven’t characterized them hardly at all. But, until I fill my plot holes, I risk writing little darlings I will only have to kill.
I must control my word counts. Part One needs to be 24,000 words to let me write my story in 120,000 words. With 18 scenes, I only get 1,300 words per scene. How am I doing? After five scenes, I should be at 6,500 words. I’m at 7,229 words.
I’m worried, because I’m counting on writing shorter, more concise scenes. Right or wrong, Rosenfeld and Scofield are my guides for this revision. So far, I’m not quite getting there.
If I needed to, could I summon enough strength to cut more scenes?
I hope I don’t have to find out.