Chapters & Scenes: Compressed Momentum

In play, a scene is a complete unit that contains only characters in action or in dialogue. In a short story, as in the chapter of a novel, a scene begins and ends when some aspect of the cast of characters is either diminished or augmented. A chapter is not something that can be written for its own sake. It is not a brief. To select what to include and what to leave out is the challenge of every beginning novelist. When freedom is complete, it can be overwhelming. Consider the importance of knowing what to select and disclose gradually over time. Consider the balance needed to ensure each chapter is relatively the same length, each character given proportionately equal space to evolve over time. These elements, when used with awareness of their potential impact, provide a compression chamber, a containment, that has the potential power to make the story take off, like rockets. In this workshop, we focus on the aspect of Craft that deals with looking at scenes or chapters to see what they say back to you. They are not the answer to a problem, but they do require some inevitable resolution. How does this apply to your work in progress?