Sunday, September 30, 2012
WHEN THE WHOLE SCENE IS CLICHÉ, September 30, 2012
Twist and shout, September 30, 2012
If nearly every variation of human relationships has been written, then what is not a cliché? When writing a scene, the story, scene, and character arcs follow a path that pays homage to Goals, Motivations, & Conflict. Readers typically know the basic ending in genre fiction. Therefore, much of the joy is in the path they take. If there are big or little surprises or twists in the scenes the reader will buy the author’s next book, because they want to be taken somewhere they haven’t been and feel something fresh. Even ending with a hook can be broadened to include ending with charm.
In NOBODY’S BABY BUT MINE by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, she ends chapter thirteen with a joke. “I married a damn cereal killer.” (She spent four hours removing all the charms from his many boxes of Lucky Charms.)
In Swing Time (1936), Fred Astaire claims he needs dance lessons from Ginger Rogers. He keeps falling down. [Song] Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. Eventually exasperated, she claims she can’t teach him. Her boss fires her, but Astaire comes to her rescue. Guess what, it seems Fred can dance. A cute twist.
Prelude: Pick Yourself up and Ginger being fired
The twist (and their dance).