I was skimming Made to Stick: Why some ideas Survive and Others Die
in the tub. ('Cause we don't have a tub. We have shower stall that would comfortably fit an orgy of eight, but no tub. My folks have tubs.) I read that in the US Army these days, no set of orders is complete without a line at the top that explains what the Commander's Intent is. "No plan survives contact with the enemy" as the saying goes, but if you know what your commander wants to accomplish
then you can improvise.
Outlined scenes often fail to survive contact with the pages; something that sounded good in the pitch proves hard to write. At that point it's always useful to figure out what is the one thing you need this scene to do
. What is the conflict that must transpire in the scene and what is the outcome you need. Once you know that, there are many ways to write the scene -- front to back, back to front, middle out. But if you don't know what your scene needs to accomplish, then you have too many
ways to write it, and you stand a good chance of writing nothing useful at all.
Labels: books, craft, reading