Sunday, February 22, 2009
Scene and Structure
Jack M. Bickham
Jack Bickham’s book is part of the Writers’ Digest series, The Elements of Fiction Writing. It has been waiting on my bookshelf for quite some time. Recently, I remembered the book when I decided I needed to find information about scene and sequel.
Mr. Bickham begins with an explanation of modern fiction and how it is different from fiction of earlier years because readers do not want to wade through long passages. He gives detailed explanations of the characteristics of a scene and a sequel and provides examples in the Appendices with line-by-line explanations.
In the last section of the book, he shows how variations and other techniques can be used to create interesting scenes and sequels. However, he states it is important to understand the basic structures of scene and sequel before attempting these alternatives.
My copy is heavily highlighted, and I have outlined each chapter for a quick review. I plan to revisit the book and my notes until scene and sequel become second nature to me. I am also going to add it to my editing arsenal of writing tools.
I highly recommend a writer refer to this book throughout a writing career.