Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Scene Theory 105

  I plotted the latest short story initially as an ten line outline with only a word or two of description on what it might contain.  Using that  outline as a guide I created more complete scene descriptions, changing the single words into sentences and, to be honest, adding more ideas.  I put the scenes in the order I wanted - in this case as chronologically continuous sequences - and then wrote each scene, fleshing out the sentences, and ensuring that all the scene elements are there.

When I completed all of the scenes I had a first draft that contained all the action sequences, dramatic point, and established the principal players, primarily the protagonist and antagonist and the forces that drive them.  I did a final check to make sure that the flow felt right.

During the second draft I tried to develop the characters into more than plastic action figures.  This involved filling out some personal background details, imbuing them with recognizable personalities, and developing the multiple relationships among the principals.  Giving them names and roles not already in the first draft is an important addition at this stage.

At the same time I tried to paint a word picture of the environment where the characters are performing.  This meant creating a more complete world where weather, insects, and plants existed.  I tried to appeal to all the senses - sight, sound, smell, and the way movement feels as you pass through a glen or wade across a stream. How does water sound when rushing over a rock filled stream, for example.

The driving force of the second draft was to make the story come alive for the reader and put as many associative hooks into the story as possible so that the reader becomes the protagonist, becomes one with the world I created.

The final draft is making certain that the logic holds, the details are "correct," and that spelling and punctuation are acceptable.  After that it is a matter only of finding a welcoming home for the beast.

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