1. Ziggy.
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    Ziggy. Member

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    Plotting Scenes?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Ziggy., Jun 1, 2016.

    Do you guys plot scenes at all? What's your insight on this? If you do plot scenes, how do you structure them? What information do you think needs to be planned?
     
  2. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Take a look at my sig. There's a book mentioned there, Techniques of the Selling Writer. I had no idea scenes had a structure before I read it. And I also didn't realize there's another thing that comes between them that sets them up and draws the reader into the actual scenes.

    This is the best book I've ever read on novel writing, bar none, and I've read entire library collections on the subject.

    BTW, the first chapter is about grammar. Don't let that put you off. He gets into the meat fairly quickly after that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
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  3. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    If I'm working off an outline, I go into a scene knowing what needs to happen to keep the story on track and moving forward (eg "this is the scene where the Chekhov's Gun first turns up" or "this is the scene where the important information is mentioned"). But I don't really plot out the details. I might have a vague idea of what else is going on, but I mostly wing it from scene to scene aside from the critical stuff. For me, that keeps actually writing it interesting and fun and feeling organic, without sacrificing coherence. You can always go back later and edit.
     
  4. Ziggy.
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    Ziggy. Member

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    I've gone through piles of books on writing and most are garbage but I have to agree, Dwight Swain's books cut away all the bullshit and really give you a no-nonsense approach to writing. His Story people book and Scene and Structure (which are the only other books I can say are amazing). I will take a look at TOASR. Thanks!
     
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  5. Kallisto
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    Kallisto Active Member

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    The first goal that a writer should have when plotting out a scene is to convince the reader to submit to an illusion. One thing my English professor taught me that I use today is that she states to use two out of the five basic senses to describe a setting and plot out a scene. It works really really well in putting the readers in the setting.

    I also carefully plan out the dialogue.

    Finally, the most important, I'm not afraid to delete entire scenes and start over if necessary. If I have mulled over a scene for awhile with little to no progress, then it's pretty much a sign that I wrote myself into a wall. Best to just delete it and start over.
     
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  6. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    Oh, i love plotting scenes!

    First, the character needs to have a goatee and an evil laugh, those two points aren't negotiable ( don't care if they're female, make a joke about how they die the hair blonde or something, this is tradition we're talking about) Another necessity is their hands. Through out the scene their hands need to be palm to palm and they rap their fingers against each other.

    Besides that, evil secret lairs are a plus, sharks with lasers on their heads, and minions.

    Unless you're talking about plotting scenes in the literary sense.
    In which case, good luck, i have no idea.
     
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  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I think plotting a scene is like plotting a story, only in miniature.

    After discarding umpteen scenes that just meandered around, while editing my first draft of my first novel, it occurred to me what my mistake was. I was just writing stuff as it came to me. However, each scene needs to have a purpose. Now, when I sit down to write, I ask myself directly: What is the purpose of this scene? (And how does it fit into the overall purpose of the chapter?)

    It needs to be a specific purpose. Exactly what I need to accomplish in this scene before it ends.

    I need to show that my main character hates Character C, but doesn't want anybody else to know this.
    I need to create a sense of false security in my main character before I drop the bomb on him in the NEXT scene.
    I need to introduce Character B, in a way that makes the reader unsure of what her intentions are.

    If you come up with a specific purpose for every scene before you write it, you'll find yourself keeping that goal in mind as you write. And you'll know when you've reached it. Discover the purpose before you start, and you'll clear away a lot of fog.

    .........

    By the way, I'm at heart a bit of a pantser, so sometimes a scene won't go where I originally intended it to go. By all means, if you get a new idea in the middle of writing a scene that changes your story for the better, go for it. But you should still have a purpose in mind when you start writing each scene. (You can go back and edit for changes later, after you've finished writing a story.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
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  8. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I start with the classic:

    Scene
    1. Goal-
    2. Conflict-
    3. Disaster-
    Sequel
    1. Reaction-
    2. Dilemma-
    3. Decision-

    and begin molding it from there asking most of the questions in the comments above this.
     
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  9. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I sense another Swain fan in the crowd. :)
     
  10. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This is what I do. Like Jannert, the way I show it comes out as I write, but I always know what I need to achieve.
     
  11. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    yup yup yup. I have not read his book yet books yet but have dove into plenty of blogs about him.
     
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