1. JennyM
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    JennyM Member

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    Theme > Plot > Chapter > Scene

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JennyM, Feb 23, 2013.

    Just started yet another version of my 'story'! Only this time using a different system, and it seems like everything I do, it's never simple.

    My story is a historical, fiction (part true), spy / romance / crime; all wrapped up in the cultures of Irish, French, English, American, including Native American. The timeframe of the back-story is around 50 years.

    I roughly have my plot (it is not set in stone until I write 'The End'!). I have so far identified 15 chapters, though there are another 10 or so chapters that will probably be necessary.

    Here is my problem:

    I'd like to write each chapter through scenes. Does anyone else write this way? Since this method is new to me, where one scene ends and another starts is a little foggy.


    A simple 'for instance'; my first chapter shows my supporting protagonist looking down from a high hill, very upset, he gazes onto a burnt out wagon where his friends have been killed (scene 1). While still on the hill the protagonist has a heated conversation with a Native American Indian, the Indian leaves (scene 2). The protagonist has a last wistful look at the wagon, he is surprised when he notices an Native American Woman searching for something in the wreckage (scene 3).

    Am I separating the scenes correctly so that the story flows naturally? The above is a simple example, but I know that as I progress separating the scenes could turn out to be a nightmare if I don't get it right.

    Thank you for any help.
     
  2. popsprocket
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    popsprocket Member

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    What you just described is a single scene, assuming it is all taking place within the same 'frame'. A single scene is comprised of action taking place within one context and location. If we are standing on a hill and looking down at a burnt wagon, then having a conversation, then looking back, all in the same location, then it is a single scene. It would be two separate scenes if, for example, we observe the wagon and someone picking through it, then travel elsewhere to where a conversation takes place with the Native American.

    If you need examples of what comprises a scene then check out some films. Once you know what to look for it's very easy to spot scene breaks. You are just looking for any and all action that is contained in the same context and/or location as the stuff around it.

    So yes, it is perfectly fine and definitely normal to write in scenes. I assure you that pretty much everyone does it with varying degrees of awareness. Personally, my chapters are almost always exactly one scene. But of course, scene length can vary greatly depending on the action contained therein.
     
  3. JennyM
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    JennyM Member

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    Thanks Pop sprocket what wrote makes a lot of sense. Strange how nuances become visible once they are pointed out. Appreciate your help.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i was going to say the same thing... same time frame, with consecutive actions = a single scene...

    brilliant avatar pic, jen!... love it t'pieces!!
     
  5. JennyM
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    JennyM Member

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    Thanks Mammamaia - pleased you like the avatar, it suits my mood today.

    Thanks also for your advice - getting to grips with it now.
     

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