Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Common Errors in Scenes

Author of seventy-five novels, and six non-fiction on the craft of writing, Jack Bickham knew something about things going wrong in scenes. Here is his summary:
  1. Too many people.
  2. Circular argument.
  3. Unwanted interruptions.
  4. Getting off track.
  5. Inadvertent summary.
  6. Loss of viewpoint.
  7. Forgotten scene goal.
  8. Unmotivated opposition.
  9. Illogical disagreement.
  10. Unfair odds.
  11. Overblown internalizations.
  12. Not enough at stake.
  13. Inadvertent red herrings.
  14. Phony, contrived disasters.
Write Every Day!



  1. You are the quintessential font of knowledge. I won't have to read another writing book, I only have to stop here and copy off your posts.

    This is fantastic stuff. I think I'm getting pretty good at writing scenes. of all these, I think I only have to work at 2.

  2. I agree with all of those points you made. Does this come
    from one of the authors books about writing?

  3. When I read a style book, or other book about the craft, even blogs/articles, I take notes in a big Word document. Sometimes (most recently) I noted where I got the information. Unfortunately, my notes didn't note the origin of this list. :(