Today, I'll be combining the workshop and the edits, just as I did the last lesson, because no matter if your manuscript is only a few chapters started or you are ready to revise, this Plot Puppet will help both!!
Today, I'm talking about scenes. Do you know what a scene is? Some writers may confuse a scene with a chapter. That's not the case. A chapter can have many scenes. Scenes are not about people, or dialogue, or settings.
A scene tells about a thing and the change that happens to that thing. A scene must have a "thing" and then a change must happen to that thing. In other words, change is CONFLICT. Oh, there's that word again - conflict- and it must be important because the word comes up everywhere!
Let me explain by giving you an example:
Here is a thing:
Smooth, still water reflected the moon glow, bouncing off the surface in swirling dances. The air matched the cool liquid, nipped my cheeks and combed through my hair. I rubbed my arm trying to warm up the goose bumps pooping up. Where did I put my sweater? I stared at the lake, as if my sweater would be under the mirrored water.
And here's the conflict:
It started as a small ripple, ever growing, soaking my dress and dripping through my fingers that clutched the hem. I dived through the water, struggling to reach the top, but something pushed me further away from the moon rays that spilled above my head. The light turned dark as the silver beams inked away into shadows. Tiny bubbles escaped my nose and danced on my skin.
That was a small scene. If I were putting the entire scene here, it would be much longer. My scenes tend to tun between 1500 and 2000 words, give or take a few. But you can see from my example that I started with a THING and the conflict changed my thing.
I hope you can see from the example what changed. Could you feel the atmosphere and tone change? Do you think my character changed?
Every scene needs conflict, a change. And EVERY change needs to drive the story forward, toward your end goal. Don't write a wasted scene. Make sure there's conflict. And change.