Is This Scene Necessary or Page Filler?
Hello readers. Welcome to Soul Mate Publishing blog. I’m happy to connect with you again. I write historical romance mixed with suspense under the pen name Wareeze Woodson. I have seven novels available on Amazon. My first novel forward: Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman, An Enduring Love, A Lady’s Vanishing Choices, Captured by the Viscount, The Earl’s Scandalous Wager, After She Became a Lady, and my historical western romance, Bittersweep all listed on my website:www.wareezewoodson.com
In this busy holiday season, thank you for taking the time to read my post. I will share a favorite recipe at the end of my post. At the moment, I’d like to discuss what makes a scene and why write it in the first place.
Scene: what, where, when in time, and now, we shall discuss why. Each time a scene is started, the location, the time (night, day, early, late, etc.), the weather (cold, hot, winter, summer, spring, fall) raining or bright sun is also important to the reader. Where is extremely important. Now to the why—is this scene necessary to the story?
What is the problem that needs solving? When does this scene take place—present day, long ago as well as the time of day (morning, evening, middle of the day or night). Where does the scene happen? (country, city, town or rural setting—inside or outside). The weather is also necessary (rain, sunshine, fog, dim or hazy, the dark of night). What is the problem? I’ve posted a discussion of each item in earlier posts. BUT, each scene is the place to start over with the time, place, and weather.
Now, let’s consider the why of the scene. Why is the scene necessary to the story and not more page filler? The scene is written to let the reader know the where, what, when of the story line. The question becomes—does the scene move the story forward? Show strength or weakness of the characters? Answer questions that have been raised in the plot? If not, we don’t want more ho-hum page fillers to read. No, we want action and reactions. Readers want emotions and all the trimmings. So why write the scene at all?
In the scene below, the plot is revealed and some of the characteristics of the heroine is established. From my work in progress Vanessa.
After several minutes of brisk walking, a gust of wind brought the faint sound of male voices up ahead. Vanessa halted in mid-stride to listen. Apprehension gripped her and her heart beat a little faster. Were the crooks still around? Where was the guard? The rustling in the undergrowth added tension to her already stretched nerves.
Mrs. Latham nearly bumped into her. “What is wrong? What do you mean by stopping in front of me like that. I could have tripped and been hurt.”
“Do be quiet. I heard something.”
The other woman gasped. “What if it’s the thieves come to slay us after all?”
“Will you be silent?” Vanessa gripped her pistol tighter and slowly moved forward. She edged to the side of the road and peered through the trees viewing the area where the roadway swerved around the bend. The voices became louder. Partially hidden by the stand of birch and plane trees, Vanessa crept around the bend. She witnessed the guard with his hands raised in anger while he shouted at the other gentleman in front of him.
Since neither of the men were brandishing weapons, only loud voices in an argument, she determined the scene was safe enough and strode forward. As she moved closer, she inspected the other gentleman. He was slender and of average height with blond hair and an unremarkable countenance. His muddy green eyes were trained on her and were his most striking feature, yet ordinary but for the color.
“Seems we have company.” The stranger cast a disarming smile toward Vanessa and bowed. “Ladies.”
The guard shifted under Mrs. Latham’s scrutiny. “Glad to see you ladies ain’t hurt none.”
Mrs. Latham sniffed. “No thanks to you.” She glared at the stranger though narrowed lids. “Are you one of them, the murdering thieves?”
“No ma’am. You are quite safe now? When I arrived on the scene, the villain’s fled. I fired at the cowards, but I don’t think I did any damage.”
The guard glanced at Vanessa. “This here is one Mr. Bartholin Sedgewick. He’s heading to Riven. When he arrives, he can make arrangements to send a coach back for us.”
“I’d be honored to do so, but I’m not going all the way to Riven. I intend to cut through the woods to Hill House. From there I’ll send one of my carriages back for all of you.”
His carriages? Vanessa nearly fainted. Her pulse drummed in her ears, and she fisted her hands. Why was this—this person laying claim to Hill House and the carriages? The estate belonged to her. Hill House had been hers ever since the death of her father all those years ago. The hard metal in her hand reminded her she still held her pistol at her side.
The scene states the problem. (Vanessa is on her way home to Hill House when the carriage is attached my crooks.) Where (on a dirt road on her way home)in England has already been established. She is walking, the sun is out, the weather a little chilled. She discovers someone is claiming Hill House-her house. This scene was necessary to the story to reveal part of the ongoing plot and one characteristic of the heroine. She is brave and not prone to wait for someone else to rescue her. The scene moves the story forward.
I hope you have enjoyed this brief discussion about the necessity of a certain scene. Necessary or is it merely page filler. Thank you again for reading this post and have a very merry Christmas.
RECIPE: Christmas punch
1 large can apple juice
2 large bottle of sprite
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Serve hot. It is very tasty.