Thursday, January 20, 2011

Planning My Final Scene

My week has been spent trying to unravel the mess that was my final scenes. There were so many little things to think about. I had to keep track of where the characters were on "the set", what they were doing, if they could react, etc. I tried to do it mentally, and I spent hours turning the scene in my head, trying to see if everything fit. I wanted the scene to be consistent.

 I never managed it by myself. 5 hours in a car and little results. I had this character whom I was convinced was always in the way.

So what did I do? I drew a table.

I gave each of my characters a line, and put every 'key event' in a column. Every time something happened, I detailed where each character was and how they reacted, if needed.

It took four days of hard work to get through it, but I managed. The conclusion? Everything was actually working out quite nicely. That character I thought he was in the way? Not at all! He's right where I need him!

It was a great relief, and I learned one thing: sometimes, imagining the scene isn't enough and I need some organization. So to the others: take the time to sit down and write. If a scene gets as complicated as mine was (lots of little events happening), don't waste time trying to think through it. The pen is your best friend.

Oh, and here's the actual table, on Excel:


  1. Yep, I started off just winging my first novel, but it got to a point where I just had to grab a piece of paper and draw out a timeline for each MC. It worked wonders for me.

  2. Welcome to the dark side. BWHAHAHAHAHA!Refreshments in the lounge. Field trips with boxed lunch on Tuesdays.

  3. Margo: Oh, trust me, I'd joined the dark side long ago. It's just that most of my planning is done either walking to (and from) the Uni or laying in bed in the morning. It's not easy to write stuff down in the former. ;)

    Ted: Timelines are my favourites. You can put so much information on them, and it gives you such a good grasp of what is happening. ^^

  4. I found this very helpful. Thanks for sharing how you organized the characters.