The Importance of the Single Scene

"Writing is freedom..." My constant mantra. The whole reason that I write. I write to expand my own freedoms, to give me new worlds to explore, new personalities to understand, new people to know and love as if they were actually real. Everybody has a reason to write. Do you know what yours is? 

Every one of the posts on this blog is going to start with something about why I love writing, so get used to a lot of chaos theory and a lot of raw emotion. 

But that is a curious question. What drives you  to write? What drives you to do anything at all? To bring this post into line with the whole reason this blog exists, why do you think Stan Mulder, whom you all met in The Writing Process, even gets out of bed in the morning? It can't just be because he needs his coffee. Would you like to find out? Good. Episode 2: Hell Hole.

The basic inspiration of the bedroom of Stan Mulder  

The basic inspiration of the bedroom of Stan Mulder

A 30-minute TV show is actually only about 18 minutes. The rest is commercials. So the average screenplay, going back to the formula I've already laid out, really only needs to be about 20 pages. Since most of that is spent telling the camera crew which angles to use, or reminding the actors which cameras are pointed at them, there wasn't a ton to work with for this instalment. With only one setting, the story gets cut down a lot. 

That said, I think there is a lot of disregard for the single setting, especially in TV. Why not waste an entire 18 minutes, broken up by commercials, with characters just standing around awkwardly looking at their feet? Once you read my latest conversion, I think you'll agree with me. 

The only general theory about short-story writing with which I often do not disagree is that it has to be short. You can't waste time writing about space. One-liners from the characters have to do for readers what visuals would do for someone watching. But sometimes, in short stories, description through dialogue just can't be done. Sometimes, there is only one character, so he or she is just talking to you.  Like this: Paint War. This story wasn't originally written as a series of journal entries, but even from that, you can understand my point. Dialogue isn't everything. People do want some idea of what they're supposed to be pretending they're looking at. 

If you want to learn how to make your scenes work, on pretty much any level, try this: Scene Writing

Photo Credit: Stephen Trolly

Writing Screenplays

Episode 1: 12-Inch Coffin Nails

Photo Credit: Stephen Trolly


Stephen Trolly is a 20-year-old novelist and screenwriter. His primary focus is in fantasy and dystopian worlds of his own creation. He is a student at Algonquin College.

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Stephen Trolly

Stephen Trolly is a 20-year-old novelist and screenwriter from Kemptville, Ontario. His primary focus is on fantasy and dystopian worlds of his own creation. He is currently a student at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario.