make every scene count

favourite scenes (1/?): you DO NOT mess with a pirate's lemons

anonymous asked:

when i write a story i usually have the idea in my mind and then i just start writing it and starting the first chapter as thought i knew where this was going, and then i go with the flow, then edit it, is it bad to do that?

No, not at all! There is no right or wrong way to write a novel, and you should certainly go about it in whatever way makes you the most comfortable and keeps you the most inspired. Some writers like to be carefully structured–I am one of them–and plan out their novels before hand, making detailed notes and charts and character bios. Some writers like to just dive in head first and begin to write and wait to see where the inspiration leads them. Both are completely legitimate ways to write and both have worked wonderfully for writers in the past. Whatever you decide to do, however, there will be things you need to make sure to include, whether it’s something you go back and look for and track in editing, or notes you make at the beginning and decide to follow throughout:

  • Characters must have growth. They should learn a lesson (or fail to learn a lesson) or experience emotional development. They should not be the same person at the end of the story that they are at the beginning. 
  • Everything that happens in the book should happen for a reason. Details shouldn’t be included just to fill space. If you plot beforehand, you may already known which details and interactions are necessary to move the plot along, but if you don’t, that’s okay. While editing, just keep a careful eye out for this; look at each scene and ask yourself if it moves the plot along and if the story can exist without it. If it can, chances are you don’t need that scene. This happens a lot in stories that aren’t plotted; scenes get written that were fun to write or helped the writer to better understand the character, but ultimately they’re not necessary to the story. Remember to kill your darlings. You have to be brutal in editing and remove what isn’t needed, no matter how much you liked writing it. 
  • Look out for rambling. This often happens when we just let our imaginations run wild (and it’s not a bad thing), but in editing, you’ll want to cut back. Make sure that not only does every scene in the book count for something, but every sentence. 
  • Books are like stepping stones. Each chapter leads into the next, into the next, to the next, until you get to the end. This is especially true for mysteries, but all stories can learn from this technique; there should be clues about the end tied into the story all the way up until the beginning. If you already know how the story will end, this is easier to include. If you don’t, that’s okay, but in editing, you want to go back and add these clues in. 

But over all, make sure that you’re enjoying the writing process and following that inspiration where it leads. You can always edit later, so don’t beat yourself up too much during the process. Writing is hard enough as is without inviting your inner editor to the creative process. 

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  • me: the skam team really knows how to make every second of an episode count. every scene was so calculated and every visual and audio made perfect sense. they were able to convey so much in 18 minutes. i've never seen something so precisely executed. all the admiration. well done, skam.

anonymous asked:

Whats the importance of the clock in the movie?

This is only my personal interpretation but I always felt like the clock was a subtle reminder that time is short and it’s fleeting. Right from the very beginning of the movie we know the ship is going to sink. There is no element of surprise there. So as the film progresses, you know with each scene we are getting closer and closer to that denouement. Time is running out.

One of the film’s lessons was that life is too fragile and we need to make the most of it while we’re alive. Jack slips Rose the note that said “Make it count. Meet me at the clock.” and that’s the first defiance she does that could potentially jeopardize her engagement to Cal. She meets him there and goes at the party with him. Then later in the film when she jumps off the lifeboat to reunite with Jack, she seals her fate and accepts that she’ll have to face death with him in these final moments. Where do they collide into each other? At the Grand Staircase, near the clock. Again, time is running out and she’d rather spend these last moments with Jack than save herself and leave him behind. It doesn’t matter if they only have less than an hour to live, at least she spends it with him because that’s what matters to her more than anything. Make every second count.

And finally, in the film’s last scene, she does precisely what Jack’s note asked her to do. She made the rest of her life count and met him at the clock… that still displays 2:20am. The exact time the Titanic went under. Where their time together was cut short but time is of no importance now because nothing can separate them any longer.

Make Every Scene Count: Action and Conflict

Action scenes are a crucial part of narration in a story. They aren’t always sword fights or full-fledged battles, but regardless, the nuts and bolts matter. Whether the scene is a small plot point in the story arc or a large one, the craft of writing one should be done with care; action scenes can be tricky. So my advice is to focus on two main areas when getting down to the nitty-gritty: the writing structure itself and the minute details that make up the structure. Each contributes to the scene to make it more intense and realistic.

Writing Structure
First, pick up the pace. Use shorter dialogue and sentences to move things along. However, try to harmonize this with natural flow and keep things in “real time.” By that, I mean describe the actions of each passing minute. A greater abundance of details in those short sentences lets the reader know that this scene is an important one that will likely have a long-term affect on the plot. Another trick to speeding things up is to make your characters react with their gut more than their brain; the act of deciding quickly without dwelling on future consequences brings a sense of urgency to the scene.

Action scenes are one of the few places where readers really expect and appreciate extra tension and big reactions. In other words, drama. Drama is one of those touchy elements that I’m not overly fond of personally. Too much drama throughout a book can be rather annoying, and it tends to make the book less believable. However, when paired with a specific action scene, drama has the power to intensify the situation and increase the reaction of both characters and readers. Adding unexpected consequences or extra conflict will heighten the drama in the scene and can increase the stakes, making the impending actions of the characters involved pertinent to the outcome of the plot.

Close calls will enhance that drama. They cause characters (and readers) to hold their breath and hope for the best. They can be used to build tension or to introduce new conflict. For instance, if one character is running from another and both have guns, a few near misses will likely be exchanged before someone is hit. But once one of the characters is wounded, the whole dynamic of the chase changes. If the pursuer is injured, the person he is chasing might very well get away, amplifying the stress of the situation and developing the plot further. If the character fleeing is the one injured, the reader will suddenly become tense alongside the character.

Details help polish a well-written action scene. They are the last-minute touch that really dresses up good writing. Strong verbs are one of those details. The stronger the verb, the stronger the action that is conveyed. If you see a weak verb anywhere in an action scene (i.e. went), replace it with a stronger one (i.e. strutted).

The five senses are another great asset. They increase tension and urgency. When a description of those senses comes into play during an action scene, a short wave of slow motion can be perceived. This type of effect is quite simple to achieve in movies but is a bit trickier in writing. Adjectives as well as a few well-placed lengthy sentences can be used to achieve slow motion.

General Tips
If you’re still struggling with perfecting that action scene, try these tips:
1. Act out the scene to get a handle on body movements before writing them.
2. Research any weapons being used in the scene and how they are used.
3. Study other writers, particularly ones that are known for their craft of writing great action scenes.

Overall, use action scenes sparingly and balance them out with other types of scenes. A nice balance of scene descriptions and effective pacing throughout the story can bring an intensity and power to the action scenes.