Getting from A to B

I’ve been fiddling with these two scenes now for … well, let’s just say for far longer than I’m prepared to admit. You never know who might be reading this and I don’t want them thinking I haven’t advanced at all in over a w … hile.

In the treatment there was no problem, scene B follows scene A – easy. Unfortunately, as frequently happens, when I actually sat down to write it quickly became apparent there was no way to go from A to B.

None at all.

You can’t just cut, you can’t fade, you can’t end A on a pithy line which reflects how B starts, you can’t pre-lap the audio or link an object from one scene to the other … I’ve tried them all and none of them work. The only way to get from A to B is to invent some other scenes inbetween.

Cool.

Except, no: what are these other scenes about?

I can fill them full of dialogue, I can have the characters traipsing around ‘West Wing’ style, I can have random things explode or turn into gerbils … but it doesn’t hide the fact these new scenes don’t really have a point. They’re meaningless, boring scenes no matter what happens.

It’s been driving me nuts since last … time I started writing the scenes … how do I get from A to B quickly and efficiently? What goes between A and B to make the transition smoother? I’ve even tried taking bits of important info from other scenes and grafting them in; but it’s no good – none of it works.

And then last night I had a revelation … the reason I can’t find anyway to get from A to B is because … and in retrospect, this is quite obvious … A and B are the same scene!

Different things happen in different ways in different locations, but they happen to the same people and have an identical purpose – they shouldn’t be two scenes, it should just be one scene with all the bits combined. There is no reason to change location and, looking back on it, the only reason I think I put that change in was because it felt like an incredibly long scene which needed breaking up.

The best example of this I can think of is from the book of ‘The Da Vinci Code’ where the characters talk about Jesus in one room until the police arrive, then move to a different room and talk about Jesus until the bad guys arrive, then move to a different room and talk about Jesus until the police arrive, then move to a different room and talk about Jesus until … for hundreds of fucking pages. I’ve no idea how they handled this in the film, but in the book it’s fucking annoying – it’s one scene spread out over various locations in a vague effort to create the illusion of a chase.

And I’ve nearly fallen into the same trap; but I’m happy now, I’ve learnt something: even if it is only how to tell the difference between A and B.

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Categories: Progress, Random Witterings, Sad Bastard | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Getting from A to B

  1. Now what starts with the letter “C”?
    “Cookie” starts with “C”!
    Let’s think of other things that starts with “C”!
    Uh. . .Uh. . . Who cares about da other things?!

  2. I’m just a newbie to this game but I love those moments of realisation. And people think writing is easy.

  3. Coo-kie!

  4. I love this post.

  5. Da Vince Code has the highest number of ‘As you know, Bob…’ moments in history. Argh.

  6. The worst part for me, about the book, was I already knew everything Bob already knew because I foolishly read ‘The Templar Revelation’ a few years previously. I already knew it and had already arrived at a ‘what a load of shit’ opinion before I even opened the book.

    I hate those conspiracy theory books. the ones that pretend to be fact anyway: if A is true then B might be true; and if B might be true then C possibly could be true; and if C is possibly true then X is an indisputable fact.

    Eh? Hang on … is A true? I’m not so sure.

    If I hadn’t already waded through the bullshit when it was posed as fact I might have had more positive things to say about the Da Vinci Code. Maybe.

    By the way, David, congrats on the Red Planet thing – I think I’d given up congratulating people before I got to you. Sorry!

  7. Yes, the book was garbage.

    I remember, groaning audibly because it was taking Robert Langdon, a supposed DaVinci expert 10 pages to figure out that the message was written backwards — as DaVinci was wont to do with his notes. If I, a lamen knew this, why was this twat taking all this time.

    I hate the book. Constant contived cliffhangers that never seemed to be paid off, and I hated the fact Dan Brown kept complimenting himself via his characters, ie, “Only a genius could have thought of something so fiendishly clever as. . . ” Oh, fuck off.

  8. I hate typos too.

  9. Conversely, I quite enjoyed ‘Angels and Demons’.

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