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Friday, August 31, 2012

Another Scene

It's strange how I find myself repeating patterns in the process of writing. Once I start getting the story into printable words, I can't wait to get to the exciting parts, the big moments. As I reach the climax, I slow down, almost as if I don't want to get past that point because then it's almost over, but once I do write what I think is the big scene, I realize that I need another one. This usually coincides with a heightened awareness of the word count which is constantly tallying in the lower left of my computer screen.

For "Stranger Faces," I thought the big scene would begin and end with a meeting in an out-of-the-way location and a big explosion. After that, things would wind down to the conclusion. I realized I needed yet another scene, even bigger, to pull all the threads of the plot together for a showdown. This is good, because as I watched the word count, it seemed the conclusion would come too soon and too much of the resolution would wind up being part of the wrap-up, with people exchanging information about what had happened.

Downside--action scenes don't always come easily to me. I become very conscious of who is standing where and what they are looking at and what's on their minds at the crucial moment. The way people react has to be believable and reasonable without much in the way of explanation. Since "Stranger Faces" is first person POV, Tracy must be able to relate the large proportion of the set-up details and set the stage.

I'm still noodling through this last scene. I know someone who will behave heroically and save the day. Where to set the action? Tracy's home? Office? Some other neutral ground? The location means everything to the set up: how people get there, where they are positioned, etc. And it has to make sense. Why does it happen there? Who chose that place for a showdown? For what reason?

Oddly enough, while writing this post, I happened to connect some details I've been mulling over and just might have solved the location issue! If this is a hidden benefit of blogging, then I can't recommend the exercise enough.

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