Hey guys, Sol here for another tutorial blog. Now, unlike before, I do not claim to be experienced with scenes, after all I usually have a more organic approach, but I was asked to do this, so I am.
Now let's get to the points we need to cover before I can this is done....I mean for you to understand...yes...
- How they are used
Now before we begin, please remember these are my opinions, don't take them as gospel. There are others more experienced with this topic, but alas, you're reading my advice right now. But if you do find a better source, don't feel bad for taking their word over mine.
Now let us be on one mind about what a 'scene' is. In truth, you could probably find tons of different definitions for the word, as it is used for more than just one medium of art. However, here in the medium of literary art a scene has its own meaning...and surprisingly it's similar to the visual art's definition, particularly those in TV and Movies.
A scene is a part of a story, not shocking but stay with me, it is composed of time and place and the context to the other scenes. If a story is an organism, scenes would be its cells. Each scene is a small encapsulation of space-time relative to the story, not characters, stories, and it is in scenes that the events of the story take place.
A scene is composed of a Place and Time. That is, where the 'scene' is taking place, and its time relative to the other scenes. Now time does not need to be direct cause and effect, that's why we have scenes called flashbacks, but normally, readers can, should and would assume scenes progress in a linear fashion and you the writer should know that.
Another part of a scene, is the event(s) that takes place within it. These events can be long, short, entirely dialogue, or not have a word uttered. 'Events' are just that, events that take place within a scene.
Scenes have a beginning middle and end. The beginning, when we, the viewers/readers, are brought into a scene, where the contents therein are described to us, or if they have already been described, we are told where things are taking place. The middle is the 'event(s), which, while technically its own thing, in practice basically covers the entire scene. Then we have the end, the time when the scene is over and we have to move on to the next scene.
When thinking about events, keep in mind a few things. The componets of the scene it's taking place in, i.e. the time and place. However, if you've planned your scene already, you should probably only need to concern yourself with place. Another thing to worry about are the characters within a scene. Now, not every scene needs to have a character, some scenes are just events (in the more classical term) or phenomenon being described for the reader, but characters are vitally important for most scenes/events because are part drama/emotion.
This is not just the characters inside the story but also the reader. Each scene overall and the events there in are means of emotional manipulation.
How they are used
Stories are journey we writers take our readers on, and all journies are an experience, and experiences are things of emotion. Scenes are the emotional content of a story are organized and divided. Many scenes will leave the reader level headed, but eventually there are scenes that raise one emotion, fear for a character's fate, happiness, fear, and the ever sought after sense of wonder.
While I said that a scene ends when a location changes, a scene often ends when the intended motion has been reached, for the characters and/or the readers. This is often something like a sudden sense of epiphany/realization, joy, fear, dread, etc.
Scenes are the means by which the story is unfolded, its themes are explored and emotions are stirred up, however, if you find that you're not stirring up the emotions you had intended in your reader base, that does not always mean your application of the scenes was off, but perhaps the content itself doesn't agree with them.
- Flashbacks: Scenes that take place before most, if not all, of the of the pior scenes. It's not really a flashback if the scene is placed before all the others however.
- Flashforward: A scene that skips ahead of the scenes that comes after it.
- Intertwined scenes (Name unknown): This is when you have two scenes and they are broken into pieces and the reader is being made to constantly switch between the two. This primarily for scenes that take place at the same time but at different locations. There's often not much reason in doing this if the two scenes do not sure some thematic link or relevance to each other.
- Phenomenon (Name Unknown): This is a scene with no characters just an event being described, like a meteor falling, or an army of nameless soldiers fighting.
A thing to remember is that scene only ends when the location changes. This means scenes can be several seperate paragraphs and still be part of the same scene. I often see writers mark a scene change by a double space and have tried to emulate that. The double space is an unspoken sign telling the reader to expect a change of scenery.
I hope this helps you guys, if you have anymore questions leave them in the comment section.