The main problem with writing is that it takes gobs more time to produce, than it does to consume. As such even the fun parts of writing can easily become a chore as “you’re not getting anywhere.” Coming up with an original idea, worldbuilding and outlining to the point you’re actually ready to write is a LOT of work to foist on anyone, not just someone brand new to the whole business.
Therefore it might be a good idea to practice with stock elements, and work your way forward from there. That’s what “fanfiction” is.
This is a paradigm I stumbled on by accident at a small writing conference in…in…
You know? I can’t even remember. Good job me…
Point being the gentleman doing the talking described the conflicts of story in a unique way and today I will share them with you. A far more conceptual take on the idea of story questions.
Exposition is tricky business. On one hand it is very easy to do poorly, and many a story has stagnated because of it. But on the other hand, you NEED it early so you can start actually playing with all the cool stuff you thought up.
It’s a nasty tightrope to walk and you WILL have to walk it. So here are a few tricks to help you find your balance.
In the last post I take a shot at the Hero’s Journey for, among other things, generating boring protagonists. But due to the nature of that project, I didn’t have time to explain how to fix that particular problem. So let’s take a stab at making not-boring protagonists shall we?
The Hero’s Journey is best described as an anthropological theory by Joseph Campbell that got commandeered by writers as a formula for structuring their scripts or novels.
And I advise against doing so…in video form.
Last time we talked about scenes. Today we’re going to talk about what happens next. The technical term for this follow-up is called the “Sequel.” In many ways the sequel is more important than the scene. Because you can have all the action sequences you want, but unless your audience cares about the characters, it’s just flash and noise.
The sequel is where you make them care.
A scene is a moment of forward action. A character takes an action, and it succeeds or fails. A sequel is a moment of meditation. A character is reeling from the aftermath of an action, and now has to take a moment, think about what happened, and decide what to do next.
Scenes naturally lead to sequels, and sequels naturally lead to new scenes. Together they can build a novel, just by themselves.
So, let’s talk about them a minute. In this post we will discuss scenes. In the next, we’ll handle sequels.