Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Writing Scenes – part 2.
Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:
The middle of your scene is primarily where the bulk of the story occurs. The opening of the scene prepared the reader for what was about to occur and now it is happening. And the closing scene will bring it to either an end or a continuing.
While it is true that the middle of the scene usually falls into the middle of the scene (duh), sometimes writers actually begin their scene in the middle. And that is an important thing to remember.
Don’t be stuck in your approach to scenes; experiment with moving the parts around. See what works best. Opening the scene with the middle sometimes works, while at other times it won’t.
That said, it is usually best to have the middle actually take place in the middle. Let the opening set it up.
It is in the middle of the scene where you will see and, hopefully, feel the character’s response to the opening. What is the character going to do in response? Is their further action?
Tip: A middle scene is usually the bulk of the scene’s story. It is also usually the longest. It is where the response to the opening unfolds.
Adam awoke. Something caused me to wake up. What was it? Wait – Eden River. That is it! I must have been dreaming about Eden River.
Gently disengaging himself from Woman, he got up. Being as quiet as possible, he headed for the river where he found a comfortable knoll. From this position, he had a good view of the river. It must be about a half-mile across! I never realized that. Tomorrow, I will take Woman and we will follow the river to its beginning.
In silence, he continued watching the river, estimating its size. The question was its length. A glitter caught his eye. He smiled as he realized that the moon’s light seemed to dance on the river’s surface.
After awhile, he returned to Woman where he lay down and was soon fast asleep.
This is the same example I used for showing the opening of the scene earlier in the book. This time I want you to take note of the middle scene. Notice that beginning at ‘Gently disengaging’ and ending at ‘on the river’s surface’ Adam is responding to his dream and goes to observe the river. During this time he views the river, mulls over the river’s width, and makes plans for the future.
All of this occurs in a single scene.
You shouldn’t put too much thought into this in your first draft. Write your story (a chapter or two or the entire book) then go back and examine the individual scenes. And don’t try to be perfect, you’ll need to do another edit later anyhow.
Keep in mind that each scene plays an integral part in your story and the middle is very important.
The above was a short scene depicted in the book. Scenes can be short (like above) or longer. It all depends on your story. One thing I hope you’ve caught is that the scene does not have to be a fireball. I chose a mundane scene because often your scenes will be mundane. At some point these mundane scenes will culminate in an action scene.
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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.