Monday, August 17, 2009

Moving Mountains

Today is all about moving mountains, also known as fixing this one stupid scene I hate. Last night I worked on chapter four until I was ready to kick my manuscript and set it on fire. It's the second scene from my hero's perspective, and this is where we're supposed to see a glimpse of his vulnerable side.

I've pinched, plucked, tweaked, rearranged and fluffed this chapter into the consistency of mashed potatoes. And you know what? It still sucks!

After an hour of going through this today, I finally tossed down my pen. I got up, poured another cup of coffee, and reached for the index cards. Now for the nitty gritty. I'm going to completely restructure this scene. First things first, this is what I have to know:

1. Who is this scene about?

2. What is he doing when the scene opens?

3. Why is he there, and what is his goal for this scene?

4. How does he feel about it: happy, sad, content, angry, frustrated? List anything he's struggling with, whether internal or external conflicts.

5. Who is there with him, and does he like this person?

6. What CHANGES suddenly to throw this comfortable little scene off kilter?

These are the questions I'm working on in order to complete my scene. If you'll notice, the questions are color coded and grouped into sections two each. That's because every scene should have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Once I figure out what the hell my hero is actually doing, I should have this one in the bag. At the moment, he is emo-ing himself out in a vaccuum of space somewhere in north-east Louisiana. Exciting, no?

Well, I'm about to hit him with a big fish, and tell him to get over bonk Wish me luck!


  1. I may need to borrow your slappy fish. lol I finally finished the galley edits on my one story and now am ready to go back and tackle chapter seven in my other wip. Do I have clue one where it is going? Oh hell no. LOL. I am a panster who is slowing learning the ways of plotting and index cards from my sensei, CZ. lol


  2. I may steal these questions and use them to make sense of my problem scene! They're very well organized. I discovered the POV might be a problem yesterday. So gotta work on that. Thanks for the plotting advice!

  3. Cass, the fish did the trick. If that fish won't work for you, I have another. Seriosly! I fixed the problem - my hero is actually doing something other than sitting around sucking in air now.

  4. Steal away, Isabelle. I don't know how helpful they'll be to anyone else, but it's what I've come up with to ask myself all the questions needed to get from A to C in a scene.

    Once you have all the information jotted in, you can see where any plot holes are, and fill them in.

  5. What an interesting list of questions! I may borrow them if you don't mind, lol.

    Your post made me laugh. :) Thanks, and best to you with the writing (and everything).

  6. Feel free to use the questions(and the slappy fish, too - lol) if they're helpful to you, Emerald. I don't mind at all. ^_^

  7. lol - This sounds very familiar! I currently have a chapter with a beginning and an end and no middle, and it feels like I'm bouncing my head off a rubber wall. Or move a mountain. Well done for being so professional about yours ... whereas my own not-very-productive strategy is to watch Judge Judy.

  8. Thanks, Janine. I yanked a few hairs over that chapter, but it's in place now. Still needs a buff and polish, but in order.

    BTW, your Judge Judy to my Wonder Pets. I can't even explain it. ^_^

  9. "whereas my own not-very-productive strategy is to watch Judge Judy"

    I seriously laughed out loud at this.


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