Friday, April 15, 2011

A-Z Blog Challenge: M

Making the scene count.

No matter how small the scene, it needs to propel the plot forward in some way.  A scene for entertainment's sake becomes evident as the reader progresses through book and they're likely to get irritated as it will appear to be stuck in there.  Though stories can be character driven, the plot should be followed.  I recently read a story where the was a scene was entirely made up of how the weather and seasons had changed.  This could have been weaved into the next scene with the characters noticing this as they carried forth the plot with their actions and dialogue.  It felt to me like a major author intrusion and I felt irritated when I realized this.  Admitedly, it could be because I'm an author and look at things a bit differnt than the occasional  reader.

A kind aquaintance, after reading my book, gave me a trilogy written...well many, many years ago.  She let me know that this was how people wrote if I wanted to learn how.  I read.  So much of the first book had nothing to do with really anything that I didn't continue.  It was filled with a lot of frilly words and scenes that it seemed like the author was trying to show off their vocabulary and vast ability to weave purple prose.  I thanked her and returned the books.

Do you notice these types of scenes?  Or is it that I'm a writer and have been taught differenly that gets in the way?



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I can think of several authors who write in that manner. I'm rather bare-bones when it comes to writing, so not much extra in mine.

Charlene A. Wilson said...

I write bare-bone too, I guess. But I try to be sure that each scene moves the story forward. It's a matter of preference I guess. But this is how I was taught and it bleeds through to how I read other books. Lol.

Anonymous said...

I think every reader can recognise when a scene or a sentence or a word is just there to show off, without any functionality so I don't think it's just us, writers :) I think there are writers whose natural style is using rare(r) words and expressions but it can be an essential part of the story or the narrator or the character. I kinda like when they do that.
I don't mind scenes where not much is happening either. Have you read the hunchback of Notre Dame? Hugo is a master of descriptions and I can actually enjoy them.
- andrea, an A to Z participant

Laura said...

I don't mind a bit of extra description... but when it trips you up and holds you back from the plot - I hate that! As soon as I can sense the author behind the words - usually showing off - it turns me right off a book. But I don't think what you describe is just noticed by trained writers! Nice to meet you through A-Z

Joyce Johnson said...

Great post on scenes and moving the plot forward!

Charlene A. Wilson said...

I'm afraid I haven't read Hunchback of Notre Dame. I do enjoy beautiful prose. And I agree that it's appropriate to some stories. But I like them to fit in with the overall story and writing so it doesn't stand out unnaturally. What works for some doesn't for others. I think we should be true to our muse...ourselves, or the reader will be able to pick up on it.

Thanks for the comments!