Writing the Perfect Scene – When I read this it made perfect sense to me. A light went on in my head – “this is something I’m doing wrong”.
I will learn to write using the Motivation Reaction Units within my Scenes and Sequals.
Motivation is what the character sees, hears, smells, tastes, and feels (as in touch). It is external and objective.
Reaction is what the character feels internally. It is internal and subjective and is broken down into three parts:
- feeling (this always comes first)
- reflex (this happens as a result of the feeling)
- rational action and speech (this happens when the character has had time to think and act in a rational way)
Motivation and Reaction should always be written in different paragraphs and should always be in this order.
But what are Scenes and Sequels?
Scenes should have:
- Goal – what the character wants at the beginning of the scene. The character doesn’t sit back passively and wait for it to come to them, they go after it.
- Conflict – The obstacles the character faces as they try to reach their goal. Naturally, there has to be a struggle otherwise the novel will be boring.
- Distaster – This is failure to reach the goal. Something bad has to happen to make the reader turn the page and keep reading.
Straight after a scene, comes the sequel.
- Reaction – The emotional follow through to the disaster. Show the characters reaction to what has happened. Show a passage of time when there’s no action but there is re-action. Then have the character “get a grip” and look for options.
- Dilemma – Oh, there are no options and the character has a dilemma. They wonder what will happen next and have to work through the choices available.
- Decision – Let the character decide on the best option and decide to carry it through. Let the reader respect the character for trying. This gives the character reason to be proactive again because they now have a new goal.
And the pattern starts over.
Within the Scenes and Sequels you must rember to use the Motivation Reaction Units. If you do this well, you will have written the perfect scene.