Notes from Writing the Blockbuster Novel by Albert Zuckerman: Big Scenes

Posted: April 2, 2015 in graffiti living
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Notes from Writing the Blockbuster Novel by Albert Zuckerman.

Big Scenes:
In blockbuster important scenes aren’t just prepared for and set up, they are also built to be big in themselves, built to excite and move the reader a lot. In novels discussed they all have 10-20 individual chapters / episodes which profoundly affect the lives and destinies of the major characters. Readers participate vicariously in murders, attempted murders, rapes, deaths from natural causes, marriage proposals, declarations of love, betrayals, seductions, last-ditch rescues, births, abortions – all weighty acts. But just depicting them in themselves is not enough to give us a big scene. To generate power that makes it big scene, the scene often contains a startling surprise, is built around a powerful conflict, substantially alters the situation, plans, hopes, dreams of more than one of the major characters and extends over a goodly number of pages. More often than not, too, its core action stems from one or both characters desperately wanting something from the other. Of these elements the most crucial is maintaining intense action and or high emotion within the scene for a sustained period. Such a scene keeps extending the physical action and or emotion of a character on rise and fall and rise again to higher peaks. Tension and excitement grow, become almost unbearable, and what happens in the scene impacts more and more forcefully on the reader.

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