Michille: New Year, New Writer – What is Scene?

Image courtesy of Master/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Master/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Scene was discussed a lot in the McDaniel Romance Writing program. What is a scene? When does it start? When does it end? How does one scene relate to other scenes? At a basic level, a scene is a unit of conflict that advances the story. As Jennifer Crusie repeated over and over, a scene starts when the conflict starts and ends when the conflict ends. One of the cheat sheets (among many) that I have plastered around my writing space is a series of questions that stemmed from conversations during the workshop on structure. When I write a scene, I don’t always think of all this but I do use it afterwards to analyze and fix the scene. Continue reading

Nancy: Making the Cut

Act II Edited Page

Last week, I wrote this post about finding out that Act II of my WIP had gotten away from me and ended up at 41k words, about 8k-10k more words than my target for the act. The length of acts is important for pacing, tension, and keeping the story moving. The prospect of cutting a quarter of the words out of this one before handing it in for a critique seemed daunting.

This week, I can report that I have tamed the beast! At least for first draft purposes. My target was to get down to 35k words or less. After my edits, I made it to just over 34k. I had to ‘kill some of my darlings’ along the way, not the least of which was a scene that I actually kind of loved. Continue reading