Writing for the 21st Century
What should our scenes contain?
The purpose of a scene is to:
and/or develop the conflict
TIPS ON SCENE CONSTRUCTION:
canít include everything, so choose elements and dialogue that drive the
scene must have a location.
scene must have stage directions.
- Have a
clear protagonist and antagonist.
yourself, what does each scene teach the audience?
may a time lapse between scenes, but it must be indicated through
dialogue, directions, and acting, NOT through narration.
character must WANT something in each scene, but there should be an
obstacle? Use that to drive the play forward. This builds suspense.
must be motivated by their wants. Realistic dialogue and stage directions
are vital. Take the following dialogue:
A: Hello. How are you?
B: Iím fine.
A: What are you doing tonight?
B: I have plans.
A: Oh, do you? I thought we could
B. Maybe another time.
Now, imagine the following three scenarios:
wants to be Bís lover, but B wants to do HW.
wants to kill B, but B wants to make an important phone call.
wants to get together as friends, but B wants to be left alone because
really like A.
How could the dialogue be enhanced with stage directions for
the actors to reveal these motivations subtly, without giving it all away? In
other words, instead of coming right out and saying A wants to be a lover, how
can you reveal it? The audience will be bored if the characters say, ďI want to
be your lover.Ē Thatís not realisticÖ
Before you continue to write your play, list each characterís WANT(S) &
OBSTACLE on loose-leaf. Please hand in to Ms. G and then you can go to the lab
to continue your play!