Sunday, 14 September 2008

Candy Bar Scenes

Yipee! I’m there. I’m ready to write it. So what now? In fact, what is a candy bar scene?

First, let me define a "candy-bar" scene. It's one that you're just itching to write -- something sweet enough that you can dangle it on a stick in front of yourself so that you can say, "When I've done these next three chapters, I'll get to write that one.

Yum yum – good enough to eat.

But first, I need to outline. This one scene I outlined minimally in comparison to all the others, so now it’s time to go into a little more detail as this scene will be quite complex and I’ll need to get it straight in my head before I start writing.

(I’ll save outlining for another post but suffice to say some writers outline some don’t. I’m an outliner, but my mistake with outlining this novel was I did way too much)

I knew there was going to be a dogfight, I knew the major events of the dogfight and I knew roughly how many ships it would involve. Except there is more now, as I have someone else, another group involved but they may only bit part players in this book; they may never be seen again. Who knows? I’m not even sure yet whether they are pirates, privateers or more likely some kind of faction that I haven’t thought up yet. If they are a faction then they are more likely to make an appearance in a later book, so right now I think they are a faction.

But, right now they are going to throw a spanner in the works, they are going to come in and cause a problem for my main character then cut and run for it when they realise the heat that’s following him. Of course, they’ll slow him down just enough so that the bad guys catch up with him.

What’s the point in all this if there is already a dogfight going on? Well whenever I am brainstorming scenes, I always ask what the worst thing that can happen, and hey presto there’s be some kind of system failure – that may well happen too!

Be evil to your hero!


  1. What's the worst that can happen? Oh, look! It just did!

    That's a great way to think about writing. Some of the best scenes are written that way.


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