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Old 06-04-2012, 04:22 PM   #26
Hamilton
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I've always sort of wondered about this too.

There is also the matter of scenes vs. sequels. In a scene a character works toward a goal. A sequel takes place after a scene and involves the character dealing with the consequences of that scene and deciding what their next plan of action will be. This leads into the next scene. At least, that is one way of looking at how scenes fit together, and sequels seem like they would allow for significantly less conflict.

I do wonder if the concept of a character struggling to achieve a goal in every scene is a bit too narrow of a requirement.
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:29 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Little Ming View Post
You are missing the point.

The original question was not "Does the conflict have to be the most interesting part of the scene?" The question was "Can you have interest without conflict?"

You can say that the most interesting part of the scene was the waterwheel. I can say that it was the fact that Corwin was such a bastard he was semi-flirting with his own niece. But neither of these things negates the fact that there was conflict in the scene, and it was that conflict that led to the interesting parts. Without the conflict there would be no waterwheel. Without the conflict there would be no semi-flirting with a family member. The conflict moved the scene along, it made the scene exist in the first place.

Again, I think you are focusing too narrowly at only one aspect of the scene and failing to see the bigger story. You do not get to strip away the rest of the scene and only focus on the waterwheel, because without the rest of the scene there would be no waterwheel.
I can't strip away the rest of the scene? I think I could do exactly that if I simply wrote my own version of the scene.

Imagine that I decided to write a bit of fan fiction with Corwin in it. Let's say that I wanted to introduce him, and show his ability to walk between worlds. To that end, I have him walk through Shadow to the place with the water-wheel, however, in my version, I leave out Dara.

Now I have an opening scene that demonstrates Corwin's cool abilities, and shows the cool world with the colossal water-wheel. So, would that be interesting? For myself, I think that it would. I'm not saying I'd want to see a whole novel with Corwin simply walking around to cool worlds, but I wouldn't have a problem with some scenes like that.
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:40 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamilton View Post
I've always sort of wondered about this too.

There is also the matter of scenes vs. sequels. In a scene a character works toward a goal. A sequel takes place after a scene and involves the character dealing with the consequences of that scene and deciding what their next plan of action will be. This leads into the next scene. At least, that is one way of looking at how scenes fit together, and sequels seem like they would allow for significantly less conflict.

I do wonder if the concept of a character struggling to achieve a goal in every scene is a bit too narrow of a requirement.
Yes, the idea that the character must struggle to achieve a goal in every scene is somewhat alien to my natural way of approaching things.

But I suppose if you redefine "struggle" loosely enough, then it shouldn't be a problem.
If having a character cross the room and look out the window is a "struggle to achieve a goal" then almost anything could fit that definition.

But I'd tend to put a higher bar on what "struggle to achieve a goal" means, and often times I'd end up with scenes which do not fit my definition of that kind of struggle.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:09 PM   #29
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If there is major conflict, a major obstacle or problem to overcome, as there is in most genres, every scene likely has either foreground or background conflict. Even a picnic scene is going to be colored by the major conflict of the story.

When life and death events are happening, people do not simply forget about them when they go off on a picnic. The mood and tone of the scene will still reflect the major conflict. The conflict will still be in the character's thoughts, in their movements, in the way they relate to each other.

My own view is that every scene, whether a picnic scene, a love scene, a sex scene, a humorous scene, a character development scene, or whatever, should still be touched by the conflict. Regardless of the scene, the conflict should be there, if only as background radiation.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:28 AM   #30
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Personally, no conflict or at least no allusion to conflict bores me to death.
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