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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How to Write a Dramatic Scene

Have a question? Agree, disagree,
with me? Leave me your opinion.

A dramatic scene is four paragraphs,
two pages or ten pages but explode
onto the page in vivid images.
It must have a reason to exist,
purpose. A dramatic scene is
well thought-out.

A successful dramatic scene
happens when opposing forces
are in the same space. The
opposing forces believe in
their position, cause. They
resist change and have
convincing arguments. Plenty
of emotion is stirred into
the situation.

The encounter of opposing
forces gives information,
seeks information, informs,
convinces, compels, or logic

The final action delivers a
winner, loser or quitter.

A sequel follows. The sequel
explains how the opposing
forces feel, their state of
mind which leads to the next

Visualize a scene before writing
it. Ask questions during the
visualizing process. How will
opposing forces react to factor
A? C? What's at stake? What's
the state of mind?

See the scene from beginning
to end in your mind. Act it out,
if necessary. Experiment to
determine what works best.

Take a look at an example from
my book, "Grave Street House,"
published in 2007. The main
character, Amanda, is having
another conversation with her
cousin, Lena, about dare taking.
The story is told from Amanda's

"I didn't mean to spy, but you
have another dare going? Let's
talk about it."

"Dare is to ask out an older man,
nothin' else to talk 'bout."

"Do you and the caller play games
like that often?" I sighed.

"Jealous? I bring the only
excitement to ya're borin'

"I'm just trying to help you,

"Who asked ya?" She snapped.
"Ya can't even help ya'reself."

"You're not going to upset me.
Don't you feel bad for what
happened to Mrs. Rosetti? That
alone should make you not
want to do another dare."

"If ya hadn't tripped over Mrs.
Rosetti's orthopedic shoes she'd
never woke-up. It ain't my fault
her heart is bad. Last time I
wanna hear 'bout that dare.
We got one last dare for old time
sake. Place of my choice."

"You didn't hear a word I said.
No, I don't think so."


"We're both nineteen." I tried
to plant doubt. "Don't you think
we're too old for childish games?"

"Feel better? Now, the dare: The
person that spends two hours in
Grave Street House is winner of
all time.".

"You nuts? Let me tell you the
story of the Kane family. Before
you came to live with us nice Mr.
Kane lived there, his wife and
five-year-old daughter. He stayed
to himself, and worked at the
factory where Mother retired from.
Mrs. Kane was only seen outside
shopping or going somewhere in the
car with him. She never sat on the
porch or walked outside to chat."
I took a deep breath and said, "One
Halloween night he stabbed her
fifty times and killed himself.
Their daughter slept through the
whole thing."

"But what that got to do with
our dare?"

"You've seen how anyone going
in the House is either carried
out or changed forever."

"We'll be together."

"I better leave for work."

I couldn't muster up the
energy to confront Lena again.

In conclusion, a successful
dramatic scene involves opposing
forces occupying the same space,
in conflict and emotionally

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Marcella Glenn is a freelance writer who has written news reports, worked in an office, reviewed movies, published a newsletter and had her novel, "Grave Street House," published. She, too, is a Writing Consultant as well as a Personal Coach.

She has tried to go down some of life's other paths. A few paths were a mail-order business, the publishing of a pen-pal newsletter and selling plastic-ware. Only, she was back writing before realizing what she was doing.

She'd critique titles, paragraphs, news reports, that no one submitted to her. She'd stop herself, eventually. Marcella Glenn seemed to be enjoying the act of writing. This is how she knew writing was more than a hobby.

Let it be a lesson in your life too. Is writing calling your name? Or, acting? Teaching? Are you interested in engineering? Have the courage to go for your dreams. Simply, believe in yourself.

Meet Marcella Glenn on Twitter:

Grave Street House Interview
Authors Show Radio Announces Interview Lineup For Week Of February 16, 2009
Internet Radio features five new authors each week
February 16, 2009
Every week, The Authors Show, radio version features interviews with up and coming authors from around the world. This week The Authors Show radio features Marcella Glenn, author of  'Grave Street House'.

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