Writing a scene



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  • Writing a scene

    I´m curious about how other writers write their scenes when working with the first draft. You know what the scene is about, how do you go from there?
    - Tomas

  • #2
    Re: Writing a scene

    Slug line

    what is necessary for the physical nature of the scene.

    Dialogue that is to the point without beig too expositional.

    bare minimum of any action that might be taking place.

    Next slug.
    Next revision will round it out, add or subtract lines to make it a smoother, more industry "standard".


    • #3
      Re: Writing a scene

      I write it out like I would the second or third draft, only I don't spend so much time worrying about being perfect. Whistlelock pretty much said it like it is.

      "Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." --T.S. Eliot


      • #4
        Re: Writing a scene

        I've been told some writers write the action and leave the dialogue for later.

        I always write the dialogue and then add some action. Then I try to figure out what dialogue can be removed and shown instead of said.

        I know it's a weird way of doing it, but it seems to work. My scenes aren't filled with dialogue, but everything that remains is what needs to be there.

        Since I'm not really a visual thinker, I have to do each scene multiple times from different perspectives, but dialogue only seems to get the scene written quickly for me.


        • #5
          Re: Writing a scene


          Briefly describe location if it's the first time.
          Tell who is in the scene and what they are doing.
          Decide which character wants what.
          Have that character try to get it.
          Set up for what happens in the next scene.
          "I am the story itself; its source, its voice, its music."
          - Clive Barker, Galilee


          • #6
            Re: Writing a scene

            Tja Tomas - läget?

            I try to keep the following in mind when creating a scene (given that it is more than one character in the scene):

            - What information must be gained in the scene? (for the audience/reader, the main character and the other characters)

            - Where should I end the scene â€" where is its â€climaxâ€? (donâ€TMt â€hang around†in the scene longer than necessary!)

            - Where should I begin the scene (may I re-construct the previous scene)?

            - How do the characters feel when they enter the scene - where do they come from?

            - Whatâ€TMs the relationship of the characters in the scene (know their backstory!)?

            - How could the other characters in the scene make us learn more about the central character? (They must â€illuminate†the central character in some way!)

            - How can I make the scene visually interesting?

            - Can I add some â€surrounding†action to make the scene more interesting?

            - What could be foreshadowed and where should it be paid off?

            - Make a nice transition into the next scene.

            Dialogue (the hardest part for me)

            - What is the conflict in the scene (if any) â€" is it clear enough?

            - Do the characters have their own voice or sound too alike? (know their backstory!)

            - See to that the dialogue donâ€TMt get too informative.

            - Let the characters do something also (donâ€TMt let them just sit around talking (if your not Tarantino))!

            - Subtext (kind of difficult in the first act I think)

            - Avoid â€natural†(ordinary) dialogue (like hesitation and stuff) â€" could â€feel†good when you write it, but certainly not when you hear it!

            Also â€" I try to write it a tight as possible (not too much descriptions)

            If possible, I try to apply a three act structure to the scene, but it only works sometimes…

            If I donâ€TMt think about this before I start to write I often turn out to be â€talking heads†and the scene isnâ€TMt going anywhere. On the other hand - there is always a risk that the scene becomes stilted, if you analyse it too much before actually starting to write it. You donâ€TMt want to loose that magic feeling you had for the scene! J

            'Media is the evil of all evils, they tell you only what
            they want the story to be'¦'


            • #7
              Re: Writing a scene

              I play the scene in my head, over and over and over, making little adjustments here and there -- adding to it, subtracting from it, coming up with interesting, appropriate actions, visuals and lines of dialogue, etc. -- until I'm happy with it*, then I just write what I see and hear.

              * "happy" from a first draft perspective, of course.
              I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!


              • #8
                Re: Writing a scene

                Thanks for sharing! Always fun to hear how other people do.
                - Tomas


                • #9
                  Re: Writing a scene

                  Subtext (kind of difficult in the first act I think)

                  Why is subtext any different in the first act?

                  I'm not saying it's easy executing good subtext but it shouldn't be any different in the first act than any other.

                  Are you saying you need to understand a character before you understand their subtext?

                  Not sure what you mean, but I would have to disagree.
                  I wanna tell you about the time I almost died....


                  • #10
                    Re: Writing a scene

                    Yes, because in the first act the readers/audience don't know the characters that well and they often need to know some background. Even if the subtext should be pretty obvious to them I find it hard to write in the first act. Maybe it's just me(?)

                    'Media is the evil of all evils, they tell you only what
                    they want the story to be'¦'