I make it a point to note to myself something I've learned each week about writing. I learn way more often than that, but I try hard to really point at least ONE thing out to myself and apply it to what I'm writing now.
Okay, well, I'm gonna start doing that anyway.
A FB friend posted a memo from one of the producers of the series The Unit to the writing staff. I learned two important things from it.
In each scene ask yourself (the guy wrote in all caps, which I duplicated on a notecard sitting front and center on my desk):
WHO WANTS WHAT?
WHAT HAPPENS IF HER DON'T GET IT?
This struck me regarding the 3rd chapter in SCAR. It's where we first meet the Bishop, and it's been lackluster all along. I started realizing I hadn't answered those questions.
And then something else from the memo struck me:
IF A SCENE IS TWO CHARACTERS DISCUSSING A THIRD, IT'S POINTLESS.
Which is exactly what was happening in that scene. I literally threw it away. Okay, threw it in outtakes. There's a salvageable graph or two, but the entire scene has shifted.
The Bishop needs her own obstacles and, since she's the baddie, I'd like to see her achievements create obstacles for Trin and vice versa. What they both want must be in direct conflict. (That bit's easy. She wants to crusade. He doesn't. Unfortunately, she does hold the power of his going to war.)
I had some components of the scene to add.
-We have to learn about the Bishop (minor backstory).
-It's important that a certain physical something happen that ties into the end.
-But primarily, this must deepen the direct conflict that will plague them through the entire book. Trinidad is asked to take the cross in a public way. He declines. She recognizes that as an obstacle, but also, by the end of the scene, that should also be cause a big issue for Trinidad.
I'm almost there--not quite. But I wouldn't be anywhere near there if I hadn't read that memo.
What have you learned lately?