Sunday, March 16, 2014

Making It Better by Making It Worse

I'm mentally going through each and every scene I've listed to see which are weak and which are unnecessary. The unnecessary ones need to go, of course, but how do I handle the weak ones?

Some of them are just mediocre. They are serviceable. It's so easy to let them slide. The ones that slip by the easiest are the 'two people talking' scenes. It doesn't matter what the two people are talking about; in most instances, this can be juiced up somehow. So I add a character that one of the characters don't want to be there. I give one of the characters somewhere to be--like, immediately. I make the setting really uncomfortable for them both. I throw the characters off as much as I can so that they aren't too familiar or cozy. Keep them off balance.

Then there are the "only has one purpose" scenes. These scenes are trouble because they reveal themselves too easily to the audience. Oh, they say, this is here to let me know her backstory. They know this because that's all  the scene is doing. If the scene also set up something to be paid off later, revealed character motivation, and also moved the story forward, the backstory will become much more invisible to the audience--they'll barely notice it.

Lastly, my biggest weakness are the scenes that just don't know when to quit. I start late; I get out early. I know this stuff. Yet the middle is overcrowded and wanders. Nobody tells me how to deal with that. I give all the characters goal, but the scenes just end up bloated anyway. I don't know what it is. I try to trim them down and then they don't make sense because I cut out something needed to understand what's happening.


Still learning.

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