Common misconception- a scene equals a chapter. Not always true. You can have more than one scene in a chapter. But a scene can be an entire chapter. Confused? Okay, if you have an extensive scene that fully closes at the end, it can be a full chapter all on its own. But having snippets of events happening collectively can create a full chapter. In reality, it is up to you as the writer. It can be 2 words or 2,000.
Keynote here- (Per Mr. Ray) the chapter is not a basic building block for your novel. It is a unit of division. It is a way of separating the events in your storyline. Sunrise to sunset. Classroom to classroom. In the house to in the car. It is a form of separation and progression. Kind of like a smooth transition. Not like this one.
Hi! How are all my shiny happy people today? Yeah, me too. I am sick of myself and my house, but I love the world enough to stay put. The only thing that saves me from blowing everything up is coffee and werds. Oh, and you. I am nibbling on some almonds and dates this morning and, of course, I need to top off my cuppa coffee. Go on, raid your refrigerators for yummies while I roll out the reading rug and get settled in with my copy of The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray. Bring your copy with you and we will all meet up on page 116.
Alrighty- so far, we have learned about scenes and drama and how drama moves the scene. Yes? Yes. Drama is the energy of your story, the fuel to keep things moving. So, what you must decide is, will you use a single scene as a chapter or a collection of scenes? Can it be both? Sure. Mix it up a bit. It is kind of a recipe for stirring up your story. If your story is starting to stagnate, we know to throw in some more drama to shake it up. If you have had an extremely dramatic scene and you and your reader need a moment to recover, slow things down a tick to change the pace of your story. Even in these cases you need a climax to the slow.
Guidelines for Chapter Building
These are direct quotes from the book- pgs 119-120
- To build a complex chapter, you knit together 2 or more scenes that have a common thrust.
- To build that complex chapter, you must explore the motives of at least one major character.
- To build a complex chapter, focus on your climax, making sure that when you are in reach of the climax, everything is lined up for a big change.
As these scenes become more complex so do your characters. They are growing and developing as the tale progresses. It can be a slow transition, but in the end, it will be clear the changes they have made.
Cutting to the Next Scene
Knowing how to move from chapter to chapter is a skill. As I mentioned, it could be as simple as day to night or moving from one place to the other. It can also be a dramatic cliffhanger where you see the bad guy light a match to a stick of dynamite. Does it explode? Or does the match go out…you’ll have to wait until the next chapter. Think about some of your favorite long running series on the telly. How do they end one episode to ensure you will tune in next time? Bam! That is how you move one chapter into the next.
And this is how I will end this episode of…me, sharing some knowledge with you. See you next time on the same website (ticia-rani.com) with more awesome-sauce content. Bye!
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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Universal Code for O-B*tch-uary: https://books2read.com/u/bOZe8o
Universal Code for Sin Full: http://books2read.com/u/m2Vdqd
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