Sunday, March 23, 2014

How to Tell When a Scene Isn't Working

Back to my screenplay... I've begun writing the scenes. The first scene was pretty easy--suspiciously so. I even enjoyed it. Hmm...

I wrapped it up and prepared myself for the next one. All right, what's this scene about. Got it. Goal? Uh... No, you know this. Goal. Mmm. She wants her life to be better? Nuh uh. That's not a goal. What's she going after in this scene? Well, she's just going home. Oh...

But it's important because when she gets home and is thinking about stuff... Oh... But, wait. She comes across something that changes everything. That's when she decides her new goal. She's between goals, you see.

Yuh. No. I had to nix the scene. My character needs to be after something, needs to have purpose in every scene. I couldn't really visualize the scene because nothing was happening. The solution is to shorthand all this. The audience will know she got new goals by her actions, not by watching her clean up at home (is that really what she was going to do).

And that's why I ask these kinds of questions (along with ones about motivations, stakes, and conflict) before I start writing even one word of a scene. I would have wrote a meandering, wandering, boring mess here. Maybe later something might pop into my head, but for right now, the scene is D.O.A.

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