Keeping track of this, that and the other thing

Forget something?

Working from the end of Act Two into Act Three is certainly proving to be an exercise in staying organized, story- and detail-wise.

It’s one thing to jot down the idea behind a scene in your notes, thinking “I’ll fill in the details later,” and totally another when it’s time to fill in those details.

Case in point: I write “daring escape!” to sum up a scene. Now I have to figure out not only HOW the escape is daring, but have to put it together in a way that’s exciting, original and entertaining, reinforces how it fits between the scenes before and after it, all while making sure it also works within the context of the story, characters and theme.

Quite a lot to keep in mind, isn’t it?  And this applies to EVERY scene in your story, no matter how big or small.

Not only that, but while you’re putting a scene together, it’s easy for some details to slip your mind. How can this character be involved here when I had him trapped over there? Hey, this character is just sitting there. How can I involve them?

This also re-emphasizes that most of the heavy lifting comes while putting the outline together. It’s a lot easier to fix a sentence or short paragraph rather than a few pages of script, especially when you come up with a scene or sequence you absolutely love, then discover it just doesn’t work.

It’s also a great opportunity to experiment. What if this happens? How about if the character does THIS instead of this? Let your imagination run wild. Pull out all the stops. Just make sure it all makes sense in terms of moving the story forward.

Work your way through the details during the outline phase, and you’ll find the page-writing phase will go much more smoothly.

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