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Scene Structure: Should Writers Begin Scenes in Omniscient POV?

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at excerpts from past posts on Live Write Thrive that tie in with our exploration on scene structure.

From Wrapping Up a Look at Establishing Shots:

I want to touch on a few insights regarding Establishing Shots and how they come into play in writing twenty-first-century fiction. We are taught that it’s important to stay in one point of view in a scene. You may have a novel with a dozen POV characters (I often do in my novels), but as long as you keep each scene in one character’s head, you are okay.

Sure, writers can break this rule, but if you take a good look at the majority of novels published (and especially the best sellers), you’ll find it’s a fairly accepted rule. And there’s a reason for it. It can be jarring and disjointed to skip around in heads when you are playing out a scene.

Continue Reading…

How Novelists Can Benefit from Using Cinematic Scene Structure

We’ve covered a lot of diverse topics in this mulit-month look at scene structure. I mentioned in January how weak scene structure is a plague in manuscripts, especially those of beginning writers. My goal here with this series—which includes in-depth (read: long) looks at best-selling novels’ first pages and back posts via the Throwback Thursday section—is to leave no writer behind.

Meaning, I want all of you to nail scene structure. Let’s make 2016 the year you never write another rotten, boring, nothing scene again. Deal?

It’s doable! If you haven’t read all the posts on Live Write Thrive this year so far, consider doing so. We’ve been using my scene-structure checklist on Mondays and my first-page checklist on Wednesdays. I’m going to have to come up with some new checklists after this—these two will be so worn out, I won’t be able to read them when we’re done! Continue Reading…

Scene Structure: Cinematic Scene Openings for Novelists

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at excerpts from past posts on Live Write Thrive that tie in with our exploration on scene structure.

From Just Enough Sensory Detail to Set the Stage:

To set the stage for a scene, You only need a few moments to show the reader where the new scene is taking place. But rather than use dull narrative, we’ve seen how powerful it is to filter the shot through your POV character’s eyes. It’s not only great to show scenes through your character’s eyes but to use emotionally-packed descriptive words that can add power to your story. Sensory details work similarly.

A Tease before Establishing the Setting

Take a look at this Establishing Shot from the movie Jurassic Park written by Michael Crichton and directed by Steven Spielberg. Notice how Crichton uses an Extreme Close-Up to show minute detail, teasing the audience with the imagery shown in the opening moments. He then switches to a more traditional Establishing Shot to ground the locale for the start of the story. Continue Reading…

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