Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Writing Down the Bones: Scene Analysis

I found another great tip sheet to tell you about. This one is done by Casey Kelly and it was part of a film seminar. I find it helpful to learn from all areas of the writing world - you never know what you can learn.

I love what Casey says about that rough draft. "Writer beware! Don't analyze a scene before you write it - the gut is much smarter than the brain during early drafts." So true! I know I have gotten bogged down in trying to pick the perfect word with my first draft when I know it will grow and change as I edit. Now I just write and not worry about that perfect word. It will come later.

Casey tells us to ask questions when we're ready to edit (and I have totally rewritten the questions to give them a bit of an update. I also combined a few):

1.)  Does your scene show the world you have created? Does it draw your reader in? Does is show when it is happening and where it is happening?

2.) Are you starting the scene in middle of the action?

3.)  Have you introduced your characters in a way that will make your readers want to bond with them?

4.) Does your character grow as your book moves along? Can your reader see that growth?

5.) Does that action reveal new character traits?

6.) What issues come about from that action? How does your character react to what is happening in the scene?

7.) How does the scene move your plot forward?

8.) Does it reflect the tone and moods of your MS?

9.) Have you given the information needed to your readers without data dumping?

10.) Is your dialogue strong? Does it move the plot along?

11,) Have you done the proper foreshadowing? Leaving the proper hints for your readers throughout your MS?

12.) Does the scene make sense? Does it do its job without being obvious?

13.) (this is the only one that is close to word per word and we've all heard this) Does your scene have a beginning, middle and end?

14.) Have you made the goal hard to reach for your characters? In your scene have you shown how difficult it will be to achieve this goal?

15.) When the scene ends will it make your reader want to turn the page?

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