Scenes and Sequels
Hello again writers and readers. Thanks for taking time from your busy day to visit the SMP blog. I presume all of you are interested in the recently released books, perhaps discovering a new author, as well as the nuts and bolts of writing. I shall be referencing the nuts and bolts of writing in this blog post.
In past blogs, I discussed setting the scene, character building, writing the story forward along with other points of interest. Today, I’d like to examine scenes and sequels. A scene is action while a sequel is a reaction. Although a scene is action, the entirety of a scene must include reaction as well, not so with a sequel. The sample of a scene depicted below contains both:
Darkness and eerie silence trapped Bethany. She couldn’t breathe. Water surrounded her, over her, under her, everywhere. Forcing her eyes open turned the nightmare into harsh, deadly reality. I’m going to die.
Darkness and eerie silence trapped Bethany. That is action within the scene. She couldn’t breathe. This is reaction within the scene.
The entire passage is the scene filled with action/reaction. We’ll discuss sequel further down the page.
Action: Where am I? Why am I in the water? Reaction: She didn’t know how to escape from the clinging, life threatening blackness. Action: Think. Fighting to remain calm, she twisted around in the water until she spied light from the moon filtering through the shadowy depths of the lake. Bethany kicked toward the surface. Struggling to swim, she raised one arm over the other and kicked with all of her might. She swallowed a mouthful of water when her head broke the surface of the lake.
Quickly searching her surroundings, she shivered in the chilled night breeze. Reaction: Her drenched hair clung to her neck and goose bumps raced along her skin. Action: She glanced around and could detect the shoreline only four or five feet away. Fighting to keep afloat, she struggled toward the bank as best she could. Reaction: Her pulse pounded, and she couldn’t fully catch her breath. Weak and almost helpless, fear overwhelmed her, but she forced herself onward. Nothing made any sense. The murky smell of mud at the edge of the water drew her towards the embankment.
Action: She sputtered and tried to still her cough. Staggering to the edge of where the deep water gave way to a shallow, sandy bottom, she fought to remain upright. Reaction: Bethany covered her mouth to quiet the sound of her breathing, to listen, to search for the menacing presence of whatever threatened her. Frozen in terror, with the sensation of evil lurking in the shadows, she shivered.
Action: The pounding of hooves on the turf broke the spell, and she gazed toward the shore. The shape of a huge black horse and rider drew closer, coming to an abrupt halt at the edge of the lake.
“What the devil?” Royce swung down and stalked over to the edge of the water. “Come out of there.”
Reaction: Exhausted and cold to the bone, she couldn’t move. In spite of her efforts, she couldn’t keep her teeth from chattering or say a word. Her wet garments clung to every curve with chilling tenacity, but she hardly noticed. I’m safe. I’m safe. Royce is here. I’m fine now. Safe.
“Bethany.” Royce said in a startled voice.
This is only part of a scene from A Lady’s Vanishing Choices, but this passage contains action/reaction both over and over again. Now, on to the sequel in a story. Here is a sample of a sequel. This happened before the scene above, but it led to the scene. Scene/Sequel, Sequel/Scene. One leads to the other. Most sequels sum up the scene of what went before with reaction. Both samples are from A Lady’s Vanishing Choices released by SMP Dec. 2015.
Instead of calling one of the stable hands, Royce saddled his horse and mounted up. His stallion’s thundering hoof beats drummed along the trail in a steady rhythm, soothing his soul. Moonlight bathed the path where it snaked in front of his steed, and regardless of his reckless abandon, he could see to guide his horse.
Royce raced against memories and grief. Perry had been in and out of love so many times, he’d lost count. Some had even cost him a bundle of blunt. So why had he insisted Bethany was the one? Why had Perry been so stubborn and heedless? Royce had examined Perry’s motives back then and come to the conclusion Perry had been merely asserting his manhood, pushing back, only to show Royce he could. Royce never dreamed this would be the outcome of his own interference.
Why had he been heel enough to dump all of his guilt and shame at Bethany’s feet? If only. If only he had it to do over again, would he make a different choice? Choose between his brother and Bethany. That thought burned and roiled his emotions with agony, and he spewed out a savage curse.
A thrashing sound in the lake drew his attention away from his never-ending self-accusations. He reined his mount to a halt. Moonlight silvered a drenched figure of a woman struggling at the edge of the shallow water.
I hope I made this discussion interesting and informative. When you buy a book, please consider all that goes into writing and have mercy on the author. We are forever learning and hoping to improve our craft.
To learn more about my writing and works in progress, visit my website: www.wareezewoodson.com