Posted by: steveonfilm | March 4, 2008

Framing A Scene

You know, it’s funny, as I go back and look at some of the stuff I wrote for act two I realize a lot of it was just me framing scenes. Framing a scene is sort of like building a house. After the foundation is laid a builder starts to put up the wooden frame. Although it resembles the shape and form of a house, it by no means looks complete. Instead it’s a place holder for the drywall that’s going to go up and truly give shape to the rooms. That’s how I feel when I write. I don’t know if other writers feel like this or not.

I go back and look at these scene and I see the framework of a scene. The general idea of what I want to accomplish is laid out. A few plot points mentioned. Maybe some back story revealed. But I don’t get a sense that I truly have the shape that I want the scene to be in.

Some scenes do feel finished. These are typically my shorter scenes where I did well at getting in late and out early. There isn’t a lot of wandering. The scene is only as long as it needs to be to accomplish what is needed at that point in time. Maybe it’s because I’ve matured as a writer, who knows. But not all my scenes are like this, because the truth is I wasn’t sure how I wanted to present it.

Instead of a finished product I have a place holder. Something there so that when I come back I’ll be able to tune back into the thought process I had, and figure out the best way to accomplish what I wanted to do with the scene.

I’d be interested to see how other writers feel when they go over some of their stuff. I know a writer friend of mine has some really thorough outlines before he starts to write. I haven’t gotten to that point yet, maybe I’ll try that next time I start something. I wonder if it helps? Maybe you can put in that level of development up front? But I’d be worried that as I work I might lose my rhythm. I might get to hung up on that one scene, and miss out on the creative juices in my head that are pushing my story forward.

I know Syd says to start working and don’t look back at this point. Maybe he works the same way, laying a foundation and then going back and putting in the details. Perhaps one day I’ll get a chance to ask him.

The words on paper draft is always a fun journey. You just write without being scared to take risks. That’s what I did. If I hadn’t I wouldn’t have made the changes I did at the mid point. Maybe I should have waited to fix the continuity of act two until after I finish act three? I think I might still do that. I’ll have a better idea probably after tomorrow.

In the mean time, things are busy busy. Hope the same goes for you.

Enjoy.
-Steve

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