Plotting a Complex Scene in the Steampunk Work in Progress


In the past few days, I have added about 2000 words to the manuscript. It has mostly been in one complex scene, which I am trying to sort out to my satisfaction. Part of the process was sitting down with pen and paper and drawing the stage directions for that scene.

Why go to the trouble?

For clarity’s sake. If I have a very clear idea of what is happening in this scene, it is easier for me to write in a manner that keeps things understandable. One of my goals in writing is to make my prose clear and readable. Nothing alienates a reader faster than being ‘lost’  or overwhelmed in the middle of a scene (like the deer in the image).

So, I sat down for a hour and just played with the scene. What did I want to say? What did I want to happen? What was the timeline for this scene? Who HAD to speak, and who didn’t? What did they have to say?

Once I had a map of my stage directions, I was able to sit down and start writing again with confidence. If I had been confused, my writing would have been weak and confused. I prefer to be in control.


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