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  1. #151
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greenstein View Post
    So, the boy's short term goal is to make progress with the girl. But she rejects him, creating tension. He persists, but nothing works, and things get worse and worse, till he and dad must run to escape death, ending the scene. That pretty well fits the definition of the scene. His living through attempted murder isn't success, it's survival.

    Surviving certainly isn't failure! If it were me, I'd count it as success.

  2. #152
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greenstein View Post
    So, the boy's short term goal is to make progress with the girl. But she rejects him, creating tension. He persists, but nothing works, and things get worse and worse, till he and dad must run to escape death, ending the scene. That pretty well fits the definition of the scene. His living through attempted murder isn't success, it's survival.
    Now you are just splitting semantic hairs. Survival is success for that scene, and even if you quibble about that, it certainly isn't 'disaster', or 'failure'.
    “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. #153
    Surviving certainly isn't failure! If it were me, I'd count it as success.
    Again, you misunderstand. The failure was to achieve the desired goal. The boy didn't flirt with the girl in hopes of surviving, so doing so is irrelevant, other than that the story didn't end there because he died. It's his attempt to make the girl like him that both failed, and caused the dire situation. So he failed to accomplish his objective and had to withdraw in defeat. Like it or not that is the definition of a scene and it did end in failure. You can't redefine the terms and aims for your own convenience, And as I said, you are not disagreeing with me. You're disagreeing with pretty much every book on writing. That's your right, of course. And maybe it will help you achieve publication. If so, more power to you

  4. #154
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greenstein View Post
    Again, you misunderstand. The failure was to achieve the desired goal. The boy didn't flirt with the girl in hopes of surviving, so doing so is irrelevant, other than that the story didn't end there because he died. It's his attempt to make the girl like him that both failed, and caused the dire situation. So he failed to accomplish his objective and had to withdraw in defeat. Like it or not that is the definition of a scene and it did end in failure. You can't redefine the terms and aims for your own convenience, And as I said, you are not disagreeing with me. You're disagreeing with pretty much every book on writing. That's your right, of course. And maybe it will help you achieve publication. If so, more power to you
    Have you read that scene? It's been a few years for me, but I don't think the boy had any interest in making the girl like him. The girl was flirting with HIM, as a I recall, and his rejection of her (because he was interested in surviving) was what triggered her outburst. As I recall.

  5. #155
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    Take this example: In Stephen King's, The Stand, Nick Andros and Tom Cullen stop in a small town to try and find Pepto Bismol to sooth Tom's aching stomach. While rummaging through a drug store, Nick meets a teen age girl, Julie Laurie, who flirts with him, is rebuffed and eventually gets a rifle and starts shooting at Nick and Tom. The two men eventually escape back on the road. The scene ends with them escaping -- an unqualified success (unless you want to consider that Tom's unrelieved stomach ache is a disaster).
    Quote Originally Posted by Bayview View Post
    Have you read that scene? It's been a few years for me, but I don't think the boy had any interest in making the girl like him. The girl was flirting with HIM, as a I recall, and his rejection of her (because he was interested in surviving) was what triggered her outburst. As I recall.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greenstein View Post
    So, the boy's short term goal is to make progress with the girl. But she rejects him, creating tension. He persists, but nothing works, and things get worse and worse, till he and dad must run to escape death, ending the scene. That pretty well fits the definition of the scene. His living through attempted murder isn't success, it's survival.
    I haven't read the book, but there's two votes for the girl flirting with the boy versus your recollection that it was the other way around.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greenstein View Post
    Again, you misunderstand. The failure was to achieve the desired goal. The boy didn't flirt with the girl in hopes of surviving, so doing so is irrelevant, other than that the story didn't end there because he died. It's his attempt to make the girl like him that both failed, and caused the dire situation. So he failed to accomplish his objective and had to withdraw in defeat. Like it or not that is the definition of a scene and it did end in failure.
    Even if a boy flirts with a girl and is rebuffed, I'm sure his goal will change to survival the minute shots get fired.


    What about mysteries?

    The typical mystery sets up something that must be discovered, usually the murderer. Throughout the book, the MC discovers clues that point to the murderer. Each clue gained is a success, as it gets the MC closer to the ultimate goal.

    Or do you consider each clue a failure because the murderer hasn't been revealed or caught?

  6. #156
    I call it a failure. They went there to get pepto bismol- they ran into an issue and fled for their lives- no pepto bismol. Goal not achieved. M-0-0-N.

  7. #157
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greenstein View Post
    Again, you misunderstand. The failure was to achieve the desired goal. The boy didn't flirt with the girl in hopes of surviving, so doing so is irrelevant, other than that the story didn't end there because he died. It's his attempt to make the girl like him that both failed, and caused the dire situation. So he failed to accomplish his objective and had to withdraw in defeat. Like it or not that is the definition of a scene and it did end in failure. You can't redefine the terms and aims for your own convenience, And as I said, you are not disagreeing with me. You're disagreeing with pretty much every book on writing. That's your right, of course. And maybe it will help you achieve publication. If so, more power to you
    You are commenting on, and painfully twisting, a brief description of a scene you haven't even read. 'The boy', Nick Andros, didn't try to make the girl like him -- she came on to him --, and he didn't die (at least not at that point in the book). He did not 'withdraw in defeat' -- he bicycled away joyfully leaving her behind. The girl was never his objective. The scene ended with Nick and Tom surviving a near miss with a psychopath. That's pretty much the definition of success.

    I'm not disagreeing with "pretty much every book on writing", I'm disagreeing with your narrow interpretation of them. I've read many books on writing and I've never read one which espoused ending every scene with a failure. None.

    As another example: Last night I read two scenes from the book I am currently reading, a bestselling thriller by an author who has written a string of bestsellers. In the first scene two people are trying to get into a dead man's apartment to look for a clue to his death. The entire scene is their attempts to get past the police cordon and building security. The scene goal is to get into the apartment. They succeed and the author spends some time describing the apartment and finishes with one of them making an unexpected discovery about the dead man. Not one bit of failure in the whole scene. They succeeded in making progress toward the ultimate goal of the book. In the second scene another character who is also trying to solve the murder in his own way, ends up arrested. A failure, of course. My point is, as long as the overarching goal of the book is not achieved, there can be a mix of successes and failures at the scene level. It is the balance between those successes and failures which drives the book forward.

    Oh, BTW, there's no maybe about it, I've been published for more than 30 years. Not a lot, but I don't submit a lot.
    Last edited by Terry D; March 23rd, 2018 at 03:30 PM.
    “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






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