Scene Make Outs

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Scene Make Outs

Read about my discovery of Jordan Rosenfeld’s book, Make A Scene.

5Does anything beat not knowing we are ignorant?

Yippers.

Finding out!

Every time I rediscover this, I want to crawl away and die.

So, what if someone went off and wrote her story. Eighty-four scenes. Only…she didn’t know how to write scenes.

And that beats her other biggest face palm. She wrote an entire 60,000 word story, and found out as she finished her last 5,000 words there was something called story structure.

Talk about an ignorant $&^#.

Okay, so back to scenes.

If anyone has read about my journey, they know I’ve read lots of books. And I’ve posted some of my exercises. I knew I didn’t know about scenes. And I’ve tried, several times, to learn.

Jack Bickham’s Scene and Structure

I love Jack. He taught me to establish my POV, her setting, how much time has passed since seeing her last, and her goal. And, set up ping-pong matches between my POV and her antagonist. And I learned about scene and sequel. But…I must have missed different scene types.

But I still didn’t know about scene types. I knew there had to be special scenes. I had heard that action scenes didn’t have much thought, and Bickham’s sequels didn’t have much physical action.

And I wrote my WIP.

After I finished my WIP, I dropped my darling into my desk drawer and did other stuff for ten entire weeks. I sensed I wasn’t where I needed to be with scenes, so I started reading new books.

Sandra Scofield’s Scene Book

Sandra was hard. Her writing was dry, but she had writing exercises, so I trudged through them.  She taught me four basic building blocks inside scenes. Physical beats or movements put action into scenes. Setting establishes space for characters to move around in. Internalities, her word for thoughts, feelings and physical sensations, let me see inside my POV’s head. And dialog.

When I work on scenes, I go through and highlight each building block. Then, looking at color, I can see where I have or don’t have color. Early, I should see lots of setting (green). And I should see blue (physical beats) scattered throughout. And internalties (yellow) should be everywhere.

By this time I had done my First Read, and decided I rather liked whoever had written this story. I would like to say I was reading Pulitzer Prize stuff, but, I wasn’t. So I planned my revisions.

And, just as I was about to start, I found another book.

Jordan Rosenfeld’s Make A Scene

Jordan gave me insight into scenes like Blake Snyder and Larry Brooks had given me into story structure.

Jordan thinks there are ten different scene types: Action, Climactic, Contemplative, Dialog, Dramatic, Epiphany, Final, First, Flashback, and Suspense. Her list overwhelmed me. But I’ve slowly begun to write them, and how to use them in stories.

Since I’ve been revising my WIP, I’ve been using several of her scene types over and over.

Scene Type  Plot Purpose  Scene Characteristics
Action POV says or does something which she can’t undo and creates problems for her further along Instinctive reactions with almost no internalities.
Contemplative Making sense of everything that has gone on before No new plot or character reveals.
Dialog Revelation of character or plot information Ping-pong match between POV and antagonist
Dramatic Forcing POV into making painful choices Lots of emotion, both internal and external
Suspense Forcing POV into action or choice Lots of inner turmoil

Now that I have better understanding of scene types, I can better see how they fit into story flows. In fact, when I replanned my WIP for revision, I went through my scenes and decided their scene types. Quite often I had

tried to do than when I wrote my first draft, but I was missing key pieces Rosenfeld showed me.
So, I can hardly wait until I discover that, once again, I am an ignorant $&^#.

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One thought on “Scene Make Outs

  1. Pingback: Writing Scenes – At Last A Practical Guide | Simply Silent

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