(To my email subscribers. Click on the title THE SCENE IN FICTION in the above box for full post, links—and color.)
Playing Around With a Story Line in Different Literary Genres
Hi there Writers,
Writing Leap #6 The Scene in Fiction
SCENE comes from the theater and the movies where the action takes place in a single setting. It’s a little story of it’s own with a beginning, middle and end–within the larger story.
Are any of you in the middle of writing a novel or a short story?
I find that focusing on the scene is great practice for writing moment-to-moment in the NOW.
The reader is there, right in the middle of it, feeling the tension and ready to dash to the next section of the story to find out WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.
Have you ever read anything that had a one-hundred-eighty-degree turnaround impact on your writing?
From Where You Dream by Robert Olen Butler landed in my writing sensibilities with a welcome thump.
The book is all about telling your story in the pulse of the moment. For me it’s a lifelong practice, with varying results. When it works it dances! When it doesn’t I go back and look and see if too much “telling” is taking over the “showing.”
Sometimes Love Hesitates (And Sometimes it Doesn’t)
Go ahead and write your scene moment to moment. Here’s mine.
Nora waited for him outside the café in Montparnasse, the one where they had fed each other oysters and kissed a lot. She was tapping her foot in fast little beats.
Just like Bertrand to include his last name in his phone message. What did he imagine? She had forgotten him after two months? Or knew a lot of Bertrand’s? Or didn’t recognize his voice?
He arrived. Obligatory kisses on both cheeks. He hugged her with awkward little pats on her back.
“Bonjour Nora.” He stepped back.
His French accent put the emphasis on the second syllable and released yet again the attraction, love, whatever it was she felt for him.
He led her to a nook in the corner.
“Alors,” (So) he said brightly. “Are you hungry?”
Nora wondered if she could eat.
“Would you like to share my salad? Please have more than just onion soup,” Bertrand said.
Were they going to talk?
He said, “Ah, I’ve been brutally busy, my exhibition, the teaching. We’re enjoying the sunshine in Aix.”
Nora looked at Bertrand. He was trying his utmost to set a light tone. He made a point of alluding to his wife.
She didn’t like him. No, it was true. At this moment she really didn’t like him. He was pompous.
She took a sip of her soup and broke off a small piece of the crust on the bread. She didn’t answer him, just nodded. Her full-out struggles to convince him that she could fit into his life one way or another made the trip of her spoon to her mouth a little shaky. Did she really want to hurt another woman?
They spent the rest of the lunch forcing small talk. They finished and rose to leave their little corner of the café. Bertrand took her hand and kissed it for several long seconds.
“I live with a lot of sadness about us, Nora. I love you and I always will.” He let go of her hand. “I’ll call you before I leave.”
She looked away and teared up. She didn’t want to see him again.
Happy Writing Everyone,
LINKING THE ARTS
A Favorite Scene
The opening scene of Gigi by Colette is a little story in and of itself. It’s so light-hearted yet promises much drama to come. It’s very moment to moment.
I sometimes ask myself, which writer’s magic most takes my breath away? For me it’s always the same: Tolstoy and Colette. Who takes your breath away?
A Good Strong Word
enough (in the emotional sense)
In Nora’s case, how much is she willing to endure?
A Mood Painting
To me the melancholy colors and the woman’s heavy arm on the table evoke resignation, like Nora’s. What do you think?
Café de Paris by Richard Edward Miller
© 2012 Cynthia Magriel Wetzler. All Rights Reserved. Blog content may not be copied or reproduced in any form.