Scene Construction 1 > Character Expectations and Tactics

In our first episode on Scene Construction, we talk about general scene structure, character expectations, beats, and character tactics. Screenwriter and story guru Matt Bird, from CockeyedCaravan.Blogspot.com, joins us for what may be our most ambitious episode yet.


The Twelve Angry Men scene that we reference.

Matt Bird’s Cockeyed Caravan blog.

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Direct Download Link for the episode

More about this show, for new listeners:

In The Narrative Breakdown, Cheryl Klein, James Monohan, and other guest co-hosts discuss storytelling tips and techniques of interest to any writer, MFA student, or fan of quality creative writing, screenwriting, playwriting, fan fiction, English literature, etc. Each episode, Cheryl and James draw upon their respective experiences in publishing and filmmaking to analyze popular novels, movies, plays, television shows, short stories, and song lyrics. Featuring various co-hosts and writers, as well as material from Cheryl Klein’s book ‘Second Sight’ and James’ iPhone / iPad app ‘The Storyometer.’


8 Responses to “Scene Construction 1 > Character Expectations and Tactics”

  1. Jay Rosenkrantz September 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Got me to buy a Storyometer! Cha-ching $$$

    • admin September 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

      Thanks Jay. Speaking of cha-ching, we checked out your YouTube show. Funny and educational. Are those Xtranormal characters? Maybe we can interview you on the show sometime. Writing for the YT crowd is clearly its own artform.

      • Jay Rosenkrantz September 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

        Hah, cool! Yep that is Xtranormal’s software (though we’ve hacked it a bit for our purposes). Would love to chat about it and/or come on the show, absolutely.

        PS All hail Cockeyed Caravan!

        • admin September 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

          Great! Will let you know. Maybe a few episodes down the line.

          • Frinko October 12, 2012 at 9:20 am #

            I’m a plot person. Always have been. So, most of the time I get an idea where smenthiog happens, then I build the world and characters around it. Though my current WIP is different – I got a vision of the bad guy (a really scary bad guy), and am trying to figure out how to build the world and characters around him. It’s been difficult trying to create a good main character that will balance out the insane scariness of the bad guy. :)Thanks for the recommendation on the book. I need to research more scary books, because I think that’s what my WIP is turning in to. :)

        • Pipe October 12, 2012 at 11:51 am #

          The first novel I ever attempted, but never fshiined, I wrote by the seat of my pants. Ultimately, outlining and planning make for a more coherent piece for me now.Knowing my arc, my basic plot devices and character development early on often means less rewriting.I think there’s a balance there somewhere between holding onto the spontinaiety of the work which gives it freshness and really having a good sense of where you’re story in going and how you’re going to get there.Those two things are usually my biggest battle.

      • Ashik October 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

        Thanks for coming by, Steve. I have to say I relaly can relate to your method which is very similar to mine. Kind of…all over the place and see what sticks!V, I think my next project will start with an idea and outline from there. On my current book, I didn’t do an outline until I was halfway through it. I can see how it makes sense now.Elise, I can definitely see how planning now makes for a better road map. The problems I was up against in Glimmerlings probably could have been avoided with proper outlining and planning.

    • Virginia October 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

      I typically just sort of start, usullay with one main voice, until a couple of characters are well developed. From there, I imagine as many scenes between these characters as I can, and write those. At some point during this process, a theme presents itself. Once that happens, I can usullay (but not always) develop a plot around what I’ve already done. Then, I just have to create some more scenes to fill in the gaps, and usullay delete several I like that have taken me way off course. Tada!

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