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Thread: Writing the Awesome Moment

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    The decision as to which scenes to make into 'moments', and how that happens, belongs to the writer. I could take any book and say, "This moment could be more dramatic", and probably be right. I think most of us took up fiction writing because of the awesome moments in the books we read and loved. We want to do the same thing in our writing. We try our best to create those moments for our readers, each in our own way. The moments in my work aren't written as you would write them. They are written in my voice, just as yours are written in your voice, and Chrichton's are written in his. It fine to study other writers and deconstruct how they handle their scenes. I think we all should do that. But I don't think its at all productive to try and distill that deconstruction down to a formula. Do that leads to pedantry and a loss of creativity. I don't want to build my scenes like Chrichton, or anyone else.
    You correctly pointed out the similarity to a joke, which I don't think I had yet mentioned. The punch line to a joke must be short. Nothing comes after, so it's isolated that way, and I am going to guess we get a break before the punchline. Do not explain the joke after the punchline -- whatever the listener needs to understand the punchline has to go before in the setup. The managing expectations is almost always in the direction of misleading the listener as much as possible without lying. Telegraphing the punch line is bad.

    In other words, the punchline has a lot of similarities to the awesome moment.

    You can say you don't like that format and you want to tell your jokes differently. But we both know that isn't going to work. You can write your moments any way you want, and I support everyone ultimately using their judgment. But you want an awesome moment, check at least once if you aren't following the formula.

    There's another thing I haven't mentioned yet. You can make your joke be about a guy in a restaurant, but if it works better, you can change it to a woman in a bar. You sometimes have choices like that to make in the setup. Part of the setup above (for the first moment I chose as awesome) is that Nedry is portrayed as somewhat overconfident.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    You correctly pointed out the similarity to a joke, which I don't think I had yet mentioned. The punch line to a joke must be short. Nothing comes after, so it's isolated that way, and I am going to guess we get a break before the punchline. Do not explain the joke after the punchline -- whatever the listener needs to understand the punchline has to go before in the setup. The managing expectations is almost always in the direction of misleading the listener as much as possible without lying. Telegraphing the punch line is bad.

    In other words, the punchline has a lot of similarities to the awesome moment.

    You can say you don't like that format and you want to tell your jokes differently. But we both know that isn't going to work. You can write your moments any way you want, and I support everyone ultimately using their judgment. But you want an awesome moment, check at least once if you aren't following the formula.
    Do we know that? Let's see; here's a joke by Gallagher, "If your knees bent the other way, what would chairs look like?" That's it. No 'set-up' no pause, no isolation, just a question, yet it still works just fine.

    There's another thing I haven't mentioned yet. You can make your joke be about a guy in a restaurant, but if it works better, you can change it to a woman in a bar. You sometimes have choices like that to make in the setup. Part of the setup above (for the first moment I chose as awesome) is that Nedry is portrayed as somewhat overconfident.
    Yes. We can revise our work in any way we wish. And there are things we do to build tension, heighten conflict, and achieve resolution. That's just good writing. Good writing breeds 'awesome moments', not the other way around.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

    https://www.amazon.com/author/terrydurbin






  3. #33
    If your knees bent the other way, what would chairs look like? And would they have to revise the Kama Sutra?


    You could have given a better example of a joke. I asked my friend if it could possibly generate a laugh, and he said yes, but it would need a punchline.

    Ignoring that problem, sometimes jokes, and awesome moments, don't need a set up. Then there is no setup and no need to isolate this from the setup. You would still isolate it from whatever you were going to say next.

    Brevity? The line isn't especially long, though if the whole thing is the punchline it is awkwardly long, though with no solution. You might think about the order if the second half is moreso the punchline, so I think Gallagher got the order right. (We can find on the internet
    with the phrase order reversed.)

    So, really, this follows the formula perfect. Try again? You can find exceptions, but there are good reasons for all of the "rules".

    BTW, I think "our" is much better than "your" for a written joke. That seems more common on the internet. (In front of an audience, "your" wouldn't be so bad.) The punchline works best if it refers to everyone, not just listener -- if it was just the listener, chairs would not be different.

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    You could have given a better example of a joke. I asked my friend if it could possibly generate a laugh, and he said yes, but it would need a punchline.

    Ignoring that problem, sometimes jokes, and awesome moments, don't need a set up. Then there is no setup and no need to isolate this from the setup. You would still isolate it from whatever you were going to say next.

    Brevity? The line isn't especially long, though if the whole thing is the punchline it is awkwardly long, though with no solution. You might think about the order if the second half is moreso the punchline, so I think Gallagher got the order right. (We can find on the internet [/COLOR]with the phrase order reversed.)

    So, really, this follows the formula perfect. Try again? You can find exceptions, but there are good reasons for all of the "rules".

    BTW, I think "our" is much better than "your" for a written joke. That seems more common on the internet. (In front of an audience, "your" wouldn't be so bad.) The punchline works best if it refers to everyone, not just listener -- if it was just the listener, chairs would not be different.
    Please don't misquote me, or, in this case, misrepresent my quote of Gallagher. The 'Kama Sutra' crap is your addition.

    One liners are as old as comedy and don't need modifications to suit your definition of what a joke is. My point is, and has always been, your formula for an 'awesome moment' (a phrase I wouldn't use when talking to anyone older than 13 about writing) is just a rehash of storytelling techniques as old as language. I don't see the need to try and slap some new terminology on the stuff we already know, tension, conflict, resolution, denouement (which you seem to disregard since you think there should be nothing after the resolution.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

    https://www.amazon.com/author/terrydurbin






  5. #35
    Off Topic:
    You mean the denouement isn't the climax?

    Heavens, whatever will I do now?


    If chairs bent the other way, what would your knees look like?





    Due momentarily! Reserve your copy now by donating: Test Patterns.


    "From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it." - Groucho Marx

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    Please don't misquote me, or, in this case, misrepresent my quote of Gallagher. The 'Kama Sutra' crap is your addition.
    Yes! I wasn't quoting you. It was the first time ever I had a good use for cross-out! And then I couldn't find it on the menu -- it was a minor tragedy.

    It can take me days to find the best way of handling an awesome moment. Or, to continue the parallel, a joke.

    If your knees bent the other way, what would chairs look like? Would front doors be in the back of the house? Who would revise the Kama Sutra?

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    I don't see the need to try and slap some new terminology on the stuff we already know, tension, conflict, resolution, denouement (which you seem to disregard since you think there should be nothing after the resolution.
    I think I see the problem in communication. Sorry. Conflict, tension, resolution is just one of the ways we can make our story interesting. But I never meant to imply the resolution and awesome moment are the same. Usually the resolution is expected, so that's a hindrance. The ways we prolong tension can work against an awesome moment.

    Sheila Jackson has the best ending I have seen, but it's actually an explanation of resolution. If I think about five awesome moments by Kinsella, only two are around the resolution, and I don't think either is exactly the resolution.

    The pivot of a story could easily be an awesome moment.

  8. #38
    VonBradstein suggested that maybe we could come across our awesome scenes by accident.

    He was banned!

    Those probably aren't connected, but we will take that as an omen from above to work a little more intentionally on your awesome moments. As I noted, you don't have to have them. But you might have a moment or scene that isn't working as well in writing as it was in your head. Terry suggested trying to write well, which is always good advice. Kyle pointed out that we also have good lines that don't need to be treated as awesome moments, which is also true.

    No formula is perfect, and you have to use craft in any case, but I am still convinced that the formula is a good guide. Don't sit there just wondering why things aren't working as well as you want without trying it.

    I think I'm done! Yay! Unless anyone wants a few more interesting examples.

    One of the amazing things about science fiction is that it teaches us to think about the impossible. Like, suppose our knees bent the other way. Would chairs be different? Would we walk out the back door of our houses instead of the front? And most importantly, how much of the Kama Sutra would have to be changed?

  9. #39
    Von got banned?

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    VonBradstein suggested that maybe we could come across our awesome scenes by accident.

    He was banned!

    Those probably aren't connected, but we will take that as an omen from above to work a little more intentionally on your awesome moments. As I noted, you don't have to have them. But you might have a moment or scene that isn't working as well in writing as it was in your head. Terry suggested trying to write well, which is always good advice. Kyle pointed out that we also have good lines that don't need to be treated as awesome moments, which is also true.

    No formula is perfect, and you have to use craft in any case, but I am still convinced that the formula is a good guide. Don't sit there just wondering why things aren't working as well as you want without trying it.

    I think I'm done! Yay! Unless anyone wants a few more interesting examples.
    vonBradstein wasn't banned because of his opinion. If he was, it's time for me to leave.

    I don't believe in omens, either.

    And I don't put effort and planning into awesome moments, nor do I recommend that others do. We should each approach those awesome moments in the way that works best for each of us.

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