Friday, May 25, 2012

Writing = Choreography

As I fast approach the re-write of my final big battle scene in my current WIP, I've realized that writing--especially the final fight--is a lot like choreography.

This is something I've sort of dragged my feet with for a while now. When you get to that should-be-epic scene, you want things to be wonderfully perfect, but do you really want to put the time in? Maybe some of you out there are unlike me and are super pumped to hit that big hurdle and send your readers into hysterical bliss with your wonderful wording and spectacular climaxes.

Me = lazy.

I see that final hill coming and start panting, putting my hands on my knees about to hurl. After having three kids my brain, when confronted with so much thinking, just wants to shut off rather than deal. Of course, eventually, I will get into it. Then, as I write more and more, I actually get excited and really into it. But to make the final scene work, I know I will have to do some major planning.

Choreography isn't just about movement, it's about creating emotion. Choreography represents, for most people, feeling. In the old days (like Danny Kaye above), people wanted to express themselves through dance. Sometimes that meant jerky-strange movements, sometimes fluid, slow, fast, whatever. But each movement had a purpose and somehow flowed into the next.

In LOTR (my favorite movie EVER!). The cast went through hours and hours of choreography training for some of their battle scenes. They didn't want to leave things up to chance, and that meant everything had to be timed just right, create the right mood. I had to be choreographed. Granted sometimes they did and it turned out, but for the most part they really thought it through. Then re-thought it through. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

So, when I think of my final scene, I don't want it to just be my characters doing whatever (like the first draft TOTALLY was) and hope it works out and the readers buy it (pardon the pun). I want there to be action, thwarting, emotional conflict, some more thwarting = the main goal in reach, not getting there until the perfect moment.

Hopefully we've all heard of the three-hurdle rule. Things can't be given to the MC on a platter. Give them a few hardships, hurt them, and then give them the prize.

Maybe this is just me gearing up, and totally rambling on about things I have brought up before, but hopefully this helps at least one other person as well. Talking it out helps clear the head and prepare better. So, thanks for listening to my word-vomit. (I really hate that phrase. Yuck!)

Where are you guys at in your WIPs? Anyone have an epiphany lately? Please share. Also, what are you reading right now? Any new reads that you think everyone should pick up? Let me know. I always love to hear what you think. About anything. Really.

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