Monday, 28 January 2013

Missing Pieces

Latest epiphany about structure: You don't need all the pieces all the time.

Here I was thinking "There are 12 stages of the Hero's Journey and I only have 8 so far for this manuscript."

I'm also reading The Virgin's Promise by Kim Hudson, which has 13 stages. (It's an amazing book, I'll do a post on it)

In Hudson's analysis of several movies, she notes that one of the movies has 12 of the 13 stages of The Virgin's Journey. It's not that the movie fails because the scene is missing, it still works fine . . .

Blammo! My brain tells me it's OK to have missing stages and scenes. Because they will either come later, or the story might work fine without them. (obviously not if it's missing too many. Like a satisfying showdown at the end.) The very worst thing I can do is try to create all the scenes right now, and force the scenes to happen.

Not that I can find the actual picture of the kiss.
Come on google, do a gal a favour.
oh yeah, © Disney/Buena Vista
A forced scene that comes to mind is from the movie National Treasure, where Nic Cage, Jon Voight and Diane Kruger are underground in tunnels . . . and suddenly Nic grabs Diane and kisses her, for no reason, then simply moves on.

I can't help wondering if test screening viewers wrote "it would be nice if there was a kiss"and the studios did a quick re-shoot. From memory, Jon Voight is not in frame when the kiss happens.

My point being, forcing a scene in there to fit the structure is worse than not having the scene in there at all.

Which is another way for me to justify not having the entire plot, er, plotted out, before I start writing.

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