Our friends at Script Reader Pro come through once again with this common sense guide to writing a good scene:
by Script Reader Pro
Writing a scene — one that moves the reader — can be a challenge. But there’s one technique you should include in every scene you write.
It’s a very simple method, and by the end of this post you will know what it is and how it’s implemented by professional screenwriters. Most non-screenwriters who watch films aren’t even aware of its existence, but it’s there in virtually every important scene in every film ever made. Even many aspiring screenwriters aren’t aware of its existence. Or if they are, they fail to use it when actually writing a scene.
Forget everyone telling you that your protagonist must have a goal against an antagonist. That just isn’t always the case, as we’ve already discussed in this post on why most advice on how to write a scene is wrong.
The #1 Tip For Writing A Scene…
One of the single biggest problems we encounter with writing a scene is that they don’t “turn.” i.e. there’s no “reversal” emotionally or dramatically in the scene from bad to good, or vice versa.
A scene should never start on a positive value and end on a positive value. Or start on a negative value, and end on a negative value. Instead, every scene you write should “turn.” That is, go from:
a positive (+) to a negative (-)
or a negative (-) to a positive (+)
If Jim starts a scene kissing Brenda (+), then it had better end on a negative like him getting dumped (-). Or, if it starts with Jim arguing with Brenda because he forgot their anniversary (-), then it’d better end with something positive, like them making out (+).
When writing a scene, every one must end up in the opposite place from where it started. Otherwise its purpose can be seriously questioned. This transformation from a positive to a negative or vice versa is known as the scene reversal….