This tutorial comes courtesy of episode 137 of The Taylor Stevens Show. It is part 2 of 2 in which we go over the opening sequence of a YA novel.
In part 1 we highlighted the big picture issues that resulted in a lack of clarity and left the reader without the pieces needed to get a sense of time and space. We also addressed naval gazing and the importance of providing visual elements in the right order.
In part 2 we introduce 6 key questions to use as a guide when writing a scene. These questions are:
~~ Whose eyes are we seeing this from?
~~ Where are we?
~~ Who are the characters?
~~ What is the conflict?
~~ What are the key points this scene must convey?
~~ What is the character doing?
We then revisit the original material, introduce the author's second version, and run both through these questions. We use the answers as a foundation to rewrite the sequence. Through this rewrite process we learn:
~~ Why getting character in motion is critical to story movement.
~~ Why character in motion is critical to depth of character.
~~ Why character in motion is the basis for good description.
~~ Why character in motion is what creates a vivid sense of place.
~~ Why we cannot have character in motion without place, and cannot have place without character in motion.
~~ How to use one to build the other.
~~ How this automatically resolves big picture issues such naval gazing and misordered visual elements.