When Ending A Scene Becomes Creating Another

I’ve been working on Trail, though had hit a miniature roadblock. These things inevitably happen, and it was about expression. I was happy with the last line that I’d written, and thought it said everything I wanted to at that moment – however it didn’t feel like the end of a scene. It still wanted more.

I changed the line, and thought about what the character reactions would be to an open-ended piece of dialogue. It worked, kind of, but there was something that still didn’t feel right.

It’s hard to separate yourself from your work whilst you’re in the process of a rewrite. I don’t have the luxury of being able to break away from the piece for a month and hope that I’ll be able to look at it dispassionately when I get back to it. A few days was more than I should have taken, but it did help create some distance between me and the words. Something was bothering me about it, and I thought I could see.

Character W doesn’t like the situation that they’re in, while character A is hesitant about change. The scene conveyed their respective feelings, but had W pushing a course of action before urgency had really been shown. Their place in the story was still in the process of being established, and W pushed A for agreement, to act. It was all happening too quickly. It’s one thing to present a pair in squalor, but to open at the very point where they wanted to change it felt contrived.

One part that helped me recognise this, was W recounting an event that had happened elsewhere in their city – one that had given him increased urgency. In short, William told. If it wasn’t made clear in previous posts, here we go – this scene was a new one, an attempt at a better, close-focus beginning to Trail. The line – an event that occurred to me whilst in the middle of writing things – divulged dangers, but a second glance made me feel it has to happen on the page. It’s important to setting the scene, revealing one of the dangers present in the setting.

It should have been more obvious to me. The original first scene had A doing one thing while W was someplace unclear. The new scene had A and W together somewhere, which would then have A in the solo scene. W had to be doing something. Clearly, W was off observing said dangers, which means now I have my next scene decided upon.

Things are starting to click with the story. I’m still slow with the routine thing, but I’ve been thinking about it throughout. I’m not sure if it’s that clicking that’s grabbing me right now, but getting back into the puzzle-solving side of this story has created a longing, to work on this story. It’s stronger than it was when I reread the final scenes (the ones that made me realise this was what I needed to be working on right now), and feel positive that once I’m out of the initial location of the setting, some more magic is going to happen.

Nice that I don’t have to wait until then.


Now, dare I ask? What’s happening with your own respective works of fiction? Respond in the comments!

2 thoughts on “When Ending A Scene Becomes Creating Another

  1. Learning where one scene leaves off and a new one begins is ever a challenge I think! After we start getting them out, we look at it and its like, how was that ever Not obvious, I am forever remodeling/restructuring where mine end off and begin. Each time I think it gets easier, only to hit a new snag! **grins** such is the journey of writing!
    I am trying to write the end of my “outline” (what I call my rough draft, since I never outline) I have decided that because in my mind there is never an end, writing one in my story has become next to impossible! How can it possible end? They are still living breathing beings!!! **grins** yup, one step at a time, buut I did assure myself there is a sequel, so, now if only I can finish this to my personal satisfaction I don’t have to feel like it is an ending, just a new beginning!

    1. I like to think of it in terms of “The Story can end, but it never stops” when it comes to the endings of whatever I’m working on. With scenes, it was easier to write the route taken by the characters in the first draft, since nothing was set in stone. Now that it’s clear where the story goes, and where it must go, it’s a little harder to work with – but not impossibly so.

      I’ve taken to reducing the existing scenes to premises and outcomes. Character A in place M, must experience a confrontation, show assertiveness, and then flee. The individual pieces, whether it’s a conversation with one character, or one path through M instead of another… those are the things that can change. In the act of doing that though, one particular variety of a scene begs for another to be thrown in (which is what’s happened in this specific case).

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