Hi All: I got back late last night after taking my daughter back to Seattle after the long weekend. Woke up late this morning and have been playing catchup all day.
I noted Camille’s question:
Don’t you notice that in stories like P&P, for those who know the novel/film, ’scenes’ (ie goal, conflict, disaster) are subtle?
Chapter 16 describes a dinner party setting, which includes the ridiculous Mr. Collins who exists, as far as I’m concerned, for comic relief. As far as I can tell, the scene is primarily about Lizzie discovering something from Wickham that significantly increases her dislike for Mr. Darcy. If this is a ’scene’, her goal, as I see it, is to hang with Wickham. The next chapter moves on to another setting, where Lizzie and her sister discuss the new info and decide how much merit it deserves. Gripping stuff, I know. I bet you thought the next scene was Det. John Maclean stuffing Mrs. Bennet into a helicopter and flying it into the Lincoln tunnel.
My point—can I be honest guys? I want permission to explore the intricacies of human nature without feeling pressured to blow something up.
Randy sez: Shall we vote, folks? I vote that Camille can do this if she wants to. As for John McClane and his exploding helicopters, I vote for those too. A side note: in Die Hard 4, McClane shot down a helicopter using a CAR as the projectile. Ya gotta love a guy who can do that. It shows . . . character.
Now getting back to P&P, I don’t have my copy handy right here, but I’m assuming that’s the scene where Wickham reveals what a dastardly guy Darcy is, right? Well that’s a major disaster in the story. In my Three Disaster analysis of P&P, that is the middle disaster that ensures that Lizzie will hate Darcy forever.
One should not confuse “lack of exploding helicopters” with “boring.” Of course a scene may very well be boring and not have an exploding helicopter in it. I’ve seen it done. But a good scene can explode anything–a helicopter, a hippopotamus, or a hypocrisy. What you explode is up to you. Just make sure you give your reader a Powerful Emotional Experience in the process.
Tomorrow, we’ll start a new subject.