1. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Best style to write a short scene?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Garball, Apr 23, 2014.

    I have a thought, an idea, in my head trying desperately to free itself in words. I am trying to exercise my writing, but the problem is I don't have a clue how to do it. It's not a short story; it doesn't seem to be a poem, just a short scene that's begging to be written before being forgotten. Right now I have it in poem form, but I always seem to think poems have a deeper meaning, not just telling a story or describing a scene. What are some other methods or styles one can utilize to get their thoughts on paper?

    This is what it is so far in rough form:

    Old Cowboys

    Worst drought in a hundred years
    Yup
    They kicked their thousand dollar boots in the dust
    1897, I think it was
    Their eyes squinted and skin leathered by the sun
    What’s it been, three months?
    Almost four
    They never look at each other, just the horizon
    Having the same conversation every day
    They’ve met at the same spot for years
    Never really saying anything at all
     
  2. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Some people like to write monologues which is basically what this is.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not sure what the problem is. Why can't you just write this as a scene? Give the cowboys names, set up the dialogue the way it's conventionally done in fiction, and have at it. Put in a touch of description, put some gestures in the dialogue tags, pause to mention a tumbleweed rolling by, etc. and just have at it. Introduce a third character if you want, maybe a bartender listening to them, and through his thoughts you could express that final bit about having the same conversation for years and never saying anything at all. Maybe the bartender himself feels a tinge of regret that he's been there just as long, listening to their same conversation, and never really moving along in his own life, either.

    This could be a pretty nice flash fiction, I think.
     
  4. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Or it could just be a short scene as part of a much large group of a mix of short scenes. It would be like a serious version of "Saturday Night Live."
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    write it however it comes out [which you seem to have done] and then set it aside for a while... when you come back to it, you may find that's how you like it, or may want to fiddle with it a bit, or even redo it several ways till one 'clicks'...
     
  6. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I was actually going to make this from the perspective of a butler holding water glasses for them. For some reason, these cowboys have become retired and rich (possibly from oil) hence the thousand dollar boots. They have adopted the new rich way of life, but still hold on to the past.
     
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  7. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    Don't throw things away. You never know when things will come oin handy. I once had a vision of a man, walking with a hangover, who spots a sprite under the stairs of a tenement apartment, beautiful, tiny, and nude. It was triggered by an oldies song on the radio, Windy, by the Association. It made such an interesting mental picture that I had to write the scene from the POV of a man whose hangover has just passed the brown whimpers stage, and who sees her, boggles, and then she's gone, leaving him wondering if he's crazy or suffering a hallucination . So I wrote it. But then I had nothing to do with it so I put it aside. Several years later, as I was writing a fantasy, and needed a male lead, there is was, the perfect opening scene for the story.

    So write it, polish it, and put it aside. Everything that happens to a writer eventually shows up in the writing, even fantasies. And you can't use what you don't write.
     
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