Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Story Question & Scene Question


What am I reading now?  Dearly, Departed (Lia Habel)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  OMG--I'm rooting for zombies!

Not my first book with zombies--but definitely pushed the envelope on the character type by putting dead and decaying right up there with hot and go-for-it.

How did Lia do that?

There had better be a second book, because although I like the ending in this book--'cause it ends! I'd like to see Nora and Bram (yup, he's the dead guy who is apparently hot in a full dress uniform) have a happily ever after. And, there's some stuff that's in the way of that just now.

This book is a little victorian, a little futuristic, a little horror and a little romance. I'm being cryptic for you own good. You don't want spoilers for this book. You'll enjoy every twist and turn. Read it and you'll know.

Story Question & Scene Question

Editing Tip:  So here's a relationship that makes or breaks the possibilities of a story being published or not. Being considered a favorite or not. And being something-I-must-keep-reading or not.

Consider Story Question first: What question is the story going to answer that the reader REALLY has to know the answer to? 
          • Writers have about 5 pages to make the reader interested in their character. 
           Then they have about 50 pages to make the reader want to know if/how a burning question will be answered.

Now consider Scene Questions: Every scene points toward that overall story question! If it doesn't--the scene should be deleted. 

Deanna and I are trying to learn more about how to use this skill our current work in progress:
Damnation
Story Question: Will Cassie get amnesty from hell?

Scene #1: Why does Cassie need amnesty?
Scene #2: How does the amnesty program work?
Scene #3: Who is helping with the plan to save Talese (and thereby gain amnesty)?
Scene #4: How can Cassie become friends with Talese?
Scene #5: What distractions cause the characters to lose sight of the plan?

And on and on and on . . . There are some 50-60 of these in a finished novel. While creating scenes, writers need to keep their eye on the overall Story Question to have meaningful, satisfying scenes in plot development. The kind of scenes that make it hard for a reader to put the book down!

Quote for the day:

2 comments:

Cathy said...

This book is on my 'To Read' list. I just can't resist zombies. Thanks for pointing it out.

Donna K. Weaver said...

That book is now on my to-read list. It sounds awesomely clever!