Still reading my first draft and analysing the scenes, but the tool I’m using to record what I find isn’t good enough yet. I’m filling in the boxes, and I know what is wrong with my scenes, but I’m not seeing strongly enough how to fix them. (Part of the problem is I’m still using the old tool and not the new one I thought of last week!)
I read this excellent blog post on scene and sequel by Les Edgerton yesterday.
He talks about what is needed(and what writers do wrong!) in detail, but in briefly he says a scene is-
Then the following sequel is-
3. Decision (which becomes the goal for another scene).
My old questions for considering scenes- Who? Where? Action, Reaction, Decision- compressed things too much. It’s too simplified, and it totally omits the goal.
The new questions I made up are better (and why it took me all weekend to realise I wasn’t using them, I don’t know!)-
What does the POV character want?
What is he/she doing to get it?
What stops him/her getting it?
What does he/she decide to do about it next?
This leaves out a step too, I think. The reaction. I need to add in another question before the character decides what to do next- how do they feel about it?
LOL, maybe I’m making things too complicated! But I want to go into the editathon with a solid robust plan for the rewrite. I only want to have to do one major rewrite, then just tweaks on the other passes through.
I think I’ll keep going analysing the first draft with the current questions (I don’t want to start totally over!) but will add a question about scene goal.
Then when I’m planning the rewrite I’ll use the new questions to pinpoint just what needs to be in each section.
Fingers crossed it works!
Edited to add- Having added the question asking what is the character’s goal for each scene, it’s clear that a major problem is lack of clear goals. Things happen, but the characters, especially my heroine, aren’t proactive, they don’t go out there intending to change something. Cady seems especially passive, her only aim to to get through this and get back to her old life. Not good enough. This really needs work.