Trick question for you: What’s one of the most overlooked pieces of the storypuzzle?Okay, so it’s not really a trick. It’s a legitimate question with a legitimate, if somewhat surprising, answer. And that answer is: the scene.Yep, you heard right. The scene—that most integral, most obvious, mostuniversal part of any story—is also the most overlooked and least understoodwhen it comes to the craft of storytelling.
How do you explain the scene?
Everyone has a different answer.
A scene is a unit of action. (Okay, that’s great, but what makes it a unit?)
A scene is a unit of action that takes place in one setting. (Well, that’s oftentrue, but there are definite exceptions.)
A scene is a unit of action that features a specific cast of characters. Whenthat cast changes (i.e., a character enters or leaves the scene), the scene ends.(Not even close. Sure, some scenes begin and end upon the entrance of characters, but others truck right along with a revolving door of supportingcharacters.)Before we go any further, I’d like you to take a moment and consider yourdefinition of the scene. And I’m going to bet it’s harder to quantify than you maythink, isn’t it?
The two different types of Scene
The problem with most definitions of scene is that they’re, shall we say,
.And by their very vagueness, they’re not of much help to authors who want tounderstand this fundamental building block of the story. Over the next twelveSundays, I’d like to share with you a series about the nitty-gritty of scenes.We’re going to explore some concrete facts. We’re going to learn the basicstructure of scenes, variations upon that structure, and how to use an
Mastering Two Different Types of Scene