Choreographing the final scene

May 17, 2012 at 11:33 am (Uncategorized)

Sooner or later, you get to a point in the story where there is a big old confrontation. I’ve never been very good at this bit, because I’m so excited by the build up that I get carried away with the drama and write so quickly that, reading it back later, things don’t make sense. People move from one side of the room to the other by a process akin to teleportation. Potential weapons appear in strange places. The relative height of people becomes irrelevant, as does the restrictions of their personalities – would she really stab him with a pencil? If she was desperate? – and their strenth, after all, we all have the potential to find inner strength when it’s really needed.

What I end up doing is writing it quickly, excitedly, churning out the battle without a care in the world, and then later – much later – going back and realising that it’s howlingly bad. Then I have to stop and choreograph the whole scene, moving people into position and bracing them for impact whilst trying to hold on to the excitement and the adrenaline and the thrill of it all.

It’s a very hard thing to get right, the confrontation. After all, the whole story has been building up to this point – the wrongdoer meeting up with the person, sometimes an unexpected person, who is going to bring to an end his evil deeds. What if that person isn’t used to fighting people? What if they usually avoid confrontation at all costs (sounds like someone I know)? What if they’re overweight and out of breath and wearing nothing more threatening than a blue cardigan over a cotton blouse, slightly damp from the rain?

And, come to that, what if the wrongdoer actually doesn’t much like confrontation either? What if he is a loner who has never knowingly caused anyone harm? What if he thinks he’s doing the right thing (even if he does get a surreptitious kinky thrill from it)? What if he’s actually, secretly, very afraid?

What they should do, and I suspect what might happen in real life, is sit down and have a nice cup of tea and wait for the police to arrive, but of course that doesn’t make for a very exciting battle. So I think I need to inject some unexpected things right at this point. Something neither of them expects. Something that suddenly throws everything up in the air…

* * * * * *

In other news, the shed is lovely today. Husband fixed the electrics last night, by which I mean the extension lead now runs to the ‘shed’ part next door to the ‘office’ part, and there are now electric sockets in the shed. This all means I can have the door closed now because the cable runs to the other room. Of course, the likely result is that summer will finally turn up, because now I can close the door it’s inevitable that I won’t want or need to. So if the temperature rockets, you’ll all know why!

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