1. BBCotaku

    BBCotaku Member

    Jun 13, 2015
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    Is this scene necessary?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by BBCotaku, Nov 20, 2016.

    I'm not too sure if I should cut this scene.

    Basically it consists of my novel's MC going to a meeting with a merchant and finding out that the guard ascorting said merchant is an ex-lover of her's. The two have a quick, awkward conversation before going their seperate ways.

    I wrote the scene to reveal the fact that the MC, firstly, is gay, and secondly has trouble with commitment/settling down which is a relatively large part of her character as she struggles to stick to anything, places, people etc. for more than a few months. But now I'm not too sure if I went about it in the right way as it, in my opinion, makes the MC (who is revealed to have cheated on guard) seem sleazy. The guard herself doesn't play a real role in the story which, again, makes me question the scene's point.

    Should I cut it?
  2. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

    Mar 13, 2016
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    It's damn near impossible for anyone to tell you if this scene is necessary or unnecessary.

    Use your best judgment. Does the scene advance the plot or reveal character? It sounds as if that's the case. Is there a better way to reveal that aspect of your MC's character? Probably. But that doesn't mean yours is bad.

    It really boils down to execution.
  3. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

    Mar 7, 2013
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    Maybe think about it a bit more. If your concern is that the conversation as you've written it makes your MC seem sleazy because she cheated on her lover, think about tweaking their conversation. Since this guard isn't going to be important in the rest of the story, just change the reason why they broke up.
  4. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Sep 6, 2014
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    It sounds like this is a scene that's only doing one thing, and most effective scenes do two or three. So you've got a scene just for characterization - what could you add to make it more relevant to the plot?
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
    BBCotaku and izzybot like this.
  5. Denegroth

    Denegroth Banned

    Nov 20, 2016
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    South Florida
    Ask yourself: Does the scene elevate the guard to a position in the story higher than he/she merits, or is significant to moving the story forward? Are there things which can be revealed in the same scene if details of it were altered slightly? Can what is being revealed be revealed in a more dynamic way - one that certainly brings things forward. If it's there, you'll see it.
  6. izzybot

    izzybot (unspecified) Contributor

    Jun 3, 2015
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    SC, USA
    I'm with @BayView. If you know what the scene's purposes are, you should be able to find a way to fold those into a different scene to trim out a weaker one. Though it does seem like it could be the kind of thing that's really just a moment, and I'd generally think it'd be fine as long as it's not slowing things down. A whole scene is one thing, but a brief conversation? Not necessarily a big deal. The awkwardness could be amusing, the relationship could be brought up later - tying it in more solidly couldn't hurt, but I don't know that you need to cut it. It's hard to give you any definite answer without full context.
    BBCotaku likes this.
  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Mar 9, 2010
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    I agree that the scene could earn its keep by doing more things.

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