somethings for me to keep in mind when working on tomorrow’s 100 words masquerading as a scene…

At its simplest, you define the goal for the scene, choose a disaster, then you go back to connect the dots. If the character has this goal A, and this disaster is the outcome B, how does he get from point A to point B and why is B so bad?

So disasters are: Yes, but (something else terrible happens); no (can’t do it, now what?); and no, and furthermore (can’t do it, and something else terrible happens).

So for those of you who are conflict-averse, like me, this is the number one point you need to take out of this entire workshop. You must have a scene goal for every scene, and you must have a disaster to go with it, then you can’t weasel out of being mean to your character.

… remember that “disasters” don’t necessarily have to bad. They need to be something other than what the character thought she was going to get or accomplish when she entered the scene. That’s why it’s so important to know the scene goal when assessing your scene disaster.

• What is the scene goal?
• What’s the disaster?
• What flavor disaster is it? (Yes, but… No. No, and furthermore…)
• If the story goal is [fill in the blank!], is she/he moving toward the story goal in this scene?

and an exercise:
• What is the scene goal?
• What is the disaster (Yes, but… No. No, and furthermore…).
• Brainstorm 3 or 4 alternative scene goals. (20 is better!) Think about your story goal when you do this. What scene goal will move the character towards the story goal?
• Pick the most intriguing of the new scene goals and then brainstorm disasters for it.
• Which goal/disaster combo is better for your story? Why?
• Based on whichever you choose as the best goal/disaster combo for the scene, can you state what the scene goal/disaster would be for the following scene? How about the one after that?

This is all from a class I took from someone named Laurin. She’s awesome. It was a good class.