What the heck is a SCENE and how can knowing about it help you write BETTER STORIES?

Admit it, many times when trying to come up with a story idea, you fly into the heavens and above, invoking ancient powers and myth to unleash unparalleled conflict the likes humanity has never seen before, right? We all want to talk about big stuff, usually called a “high concept” that can really call for the reader’s attention and maybe earn us some money in the process, nothing bad with that btw. Yet doing so may stray us from ground level, where all of those epic ideas actually clash and produce drama.

So, how can we transition between all of those fantastic abstract concepts of greatness into the actual actions and story, easily put, through the details used to present an argument, the images and rhetoric that will convince the spectator about the fiction we’re making.

Here’s where we talk about the scene.

Many people have heard the concept made up by Ernest Hemmingway (one crazy individual I may add) about an iceberg theory (which really isn’t that much of a theory, c’mon!). The idea here is that we can only see a tip of what the character is going through, yet the bulk that is moving him is underwater, and is a big bulk or iceberg stuff or whatever.

What’s the point here you might be thinking. Basically, that you, as an author, know much more about what’s going on than what you actually put into action, yet somehow the little and subtle elements that you’re using are evoking the entire depth below.

Now a little quiz. What do you think makes a good scene?

No clue? Let me help a bit, let’s focus on three aspects of it, shall we?

  • Argument, there’s a discussion about something.
  • Seduction, some character is trying to convince other about something.
  • Negotiation, in a middle ground there’s a need to come to terms.

Of course, there are many other options, we’re just thinking about those that can help create drama, okay?

Well, that’s about it for today, next time we’ll talk about an infamous rule in writing, the tireless “show, don’t tell” rule, which many people hate and many more worship, all of them real crazy people. Hasta la proxima!

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