It’s a pretty familiar occurrence to anyone who’s been writing for a while. You’re probably doing something mundane, like washing dishes or going for a walk. Not thinking about much. And then, like dynamite lobbed into your brain, you see them.
Two characters – as yet unnamed – standing in a compelling space: a moon base, or an ancient garden overrun with blossoms. One of them – for reasons unknown – reaches out to the other. And you can feel it, perhaps the tension, or the anger, or the joy.
And that, my friend, was a Key Scene. You don’t know who those people are, or why they’re in that particular location, or why they’re so angry at each other. You just know that you gotta find out.
Imagine diving into your story world. Instead of getting overwhelmed by the vast landscape of plot, characters, and settings, zoom in on the moments that truly matter. These are the scenes that capture the essence of your narrative, the moments that define character arcs, plot twists, and emotional peaks. When these scenes come to mind, it’s crucial to let them sit for a day or two before you try writing them down. I’ve found that writing them too quickly can almost have the effect of tarnishing them: you need to handle them gently, at least for a while. When you’re ready, find a method that allows you to capture these fragments as they emerge.
Once you have a collection of these pivotal moments, the magic begins. It’s like having a jigsaw puzzle where you start with the most important pieces and then work your way out. Your task is to weave a narrative thread between these scenes. This involves understanding character motivations, creating transitions, and ensuring a fluid progression from one key scene to the next.
There’s beauty in this approach. By breaking the story into these significant chunks, the process becomes less overwhelming. It provides a clearer direction and allows the narrative to evolve more organically. These key scenes serve as anchors, ensuring that while the story can sail in various directions, it remains grounded to its core essence. Embrace those pivotal moments and let them guide your story’s journey.