Monday, November 5, 2012

Breakthrough


I finally had a breakthrough with the storyline. There has been one scene that has been bugging me, and I hit it two weeks ago. Since then the writing has almost stopped completely.

Two years ago I ran into this as well. I have a scene between the main character John, and his friend/counselor, Donald. It is the scene when Donald confronts John about John slipping from a normal law abiding person to a revengeful wreck. When I was writing this long hand, I had such a hard time working the scene that I skipped it completely and moved on to other scenes. But as you know, you have to build a strong foundation before you begin framing the rest of the house.

So now, two years later, I am attacking the script again. Everything was going so smooth, and then there it was. Page 20 - that dreaded scene. Damn that scene.

And the writing stopped. Twenty pages in and I’m stuck. For me to write a scene, I need to feel the emotion of the characters. Because I need to have the conversation first out loud and then I write the dialogue. Here I had nothing. Writers block.

Finally, a breakthrough. I see now what I was doing wrong. I wanted this scene to be a foundational scene, but it’s not. And if I want it to have the emotion that I need to need to build the foundation first for this scene before I can move on.


So, I am going to add a few more scenes to the beginning, but not too many. Because as a storyteller, we want the script to be as condensed as possible and have a moment of the story wasted. So, adding scenes does not magically solve the problem, but at least by pushing this "emotional" scene down the road I now have time to set it up and lay the foundation.


I was missing the setup. I had not established enough of my characters and the story to warrant the scene so close to the beginning. I diagrammed this on the nearest stationary possible and will soon been back in the writers chair.

Well, I have to leave work first.

The “scene” that I am speaking is listed near the bottom as – “Scene w/ Don – argument.”

Regards,

Ryan McDonald