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 3.
Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:
The ending scene either draws the scene to a conclusion or sets the reader up for the next scene. Sometimes, when having multiple subplots, you need the scene to at least temporarily draw to a close because in the next scene you will be viewing a different subplot.
Ending Scenes, therefore, are very important to your story and should not be approached carelessly. Unless you are creating suspense or something akin to it, the reader should not be left dangling aimlessly. You might lose him/her. At the same time you want the reader’s anticipation to be alive. This is a fine line, but I would err on the side of mystery.
In some respects it is because of the anticipation factor that the Ending Scene is so critical. So spend some time thinking about it. Does the scene draw to a satisfying close? Do you, as the reader, want to continue reading? Is there anything that can be done to improve the scene?
Tip: Whether you are closing a scene or pointing to the next scene you want your reader desiring more.
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.
You will notice that I have again used the same example. There’s actually a plan here. While it is not the perfect scene it embodies all three aspects of good scene writing: Opening, Middle, and Ending.
The ending is actually very short: ‘After awhile, he returned to Woman where he lay down and was soon fast asleep.’
In this case the scene was drawn to a close. The body or middle had already pointed to the next scene so that would have been redundant.
Please note once again that the scene started and ended with a separator, in this case the ‘&&&’. The separator is extremely important. (I had one book where the publisher removed the separators and left only line feeds. That was terrible!)
As mentioned in the Middle Scene application you should keep in mind that each scene plays an integral part in your story and, in this case, the ending is very important. The reader should be experiencing whatever emotion you want him or her to feel.
Scenes (Opening, Middle, and Ending) play a crucial role in your story. In effect, this is where ‘page turning’ occurs. The reader’s desire for more action, feeling, or whatever is satisfied yet not completely fulfilled. You want them wanting more.
Don’t let that scare you, though. As mentioned previously, when writing your first draft don’t focus on your scenes. Let the story spontaneously write itself if possible. Then go back and edit.
In these edits you concern yourself with scenes. Don’t fall in love with a scene. If it’s not working, change or delete it. Or even move it.
I often move scenes around. Sometimes I move them to an altogether different chapter so that the story moves better. This is ok to do, but this also requires more diligence on your part. Why? Because when you move a scene from one location to another it impacts both locations which means you need to examine the surrounding parts to make sure that there’s no reference to it before it happens! Also, you want to make sure that your scenes fall in proper order. I handle this at the time of making the move, primarily because I might forget that I moved it!
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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.