The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Note to self: to get unstuck, rethink the concept of "scene"???

No writing of my own, and there will likely be none until after Jan. 20th.

However, as I think about the dystopian ms and the upcoming VCFA lecture, I'm suddenly not sure I even really know what a scene is, if you think about a scene as a discrete unit. As you're working on them, I mean. After the fact, they're easy to recognize.

It may be that you can understand a scene as a plot unit, or as an emotional unit (my go-to), or as a physical unit, and that the three don't necessarily have to have anything to do with each other.

It may be useful sometimes, when I get stuck, to back off and think from the outside:

1. Is there a plot scene here, and if so, what is it?

  • what happens?
  • how does it drive the story forward?
  • what does the reader find out?

2. Is there an emotional scene here, and if so, what is it?

  • What does the character feel/understand?
  • What does the reader feel/understand?

3. What potential boundaries of a physical scene are here?

  • change of setting
  • characters come in or leave
  • POV character moves, shifting his/her sightlines

It may be that coming at a stuck place from a slightly different angle can jog something loose and help me reconnect with the ms. Maybe coming at a scene from a different writerly perspective breaks it down in a different way than I've been used to looking at it, and forces me to slow down and really think through what everything on the paper either is accomplishing, or what it could accomplish.

Eh, I sense there's more to it than that, but no time to think about this anymore. Too much to do.