How to Write Obligatory Scenes
Article contributed by Lucy Adams:
This article is dedicated to an obligatory scene, one of the most important but often overlooked by both novice and experienced writers story elements. In the lines below, you’ll find out why an obligatory scene is a must for any story and novel, how to write it, and how it affects the reader. So if you are ready to learn one of the most important secrets of the intriguing plot, sit comfortable and enjoy reading!
What is an Obligatory Scene?
Simply put, this is the scene of the final confrontation between the protagonist and the antagonist, or the theme and the countertheme of the story.
From the name of the scene, you've probably realized that it must be presented mandatory. But why?
Imagine yourself a reader. Here you open a book, flip through pages, and get fascinated by what is happening. The main character – a bold, positive guy – embarks on a long, dangerous journey to return home some very valuable thing. However, this thing is protected by a dangerous villain – many years ago, he treacherously stole the relic and now ruthlessly kills each daredevil who dares to take the risk to return it.
So, we have the first act of the story: the author described the disposition of forces and clearly explained who is good and who is bad. This is clear. But what, in fact, we do expect from this story? What interest makes us read? Perhaps, we want to see how the character will return (or at least try to) the stolen treasure and, of course, kill the incredibly strong villain.
Will we be satisfied if the main character dies suddenly halfway or just steals the treasure and returns home safely? I think no. In other words, we, as readers, are waiting for the main collision, the battle between the good and the evil. And the stronger the evil, the greater the expectations.
The Biggest Mistake of Novice Authors
I think now you’re aware of the importance of an obligatory scene for the narrative. However, not all aspiring authors run the above line of reasoning. As a result, good and evil are fighting virtually, across the ocean, or just "for the show." And then aspiring “pen wizards” wonder why their opuses are so boring.
To avoid this failure, thought out the mandatory scene before writing the rest of the work. Once you come up with the idea of the narrative, think of the obligatory scene. Without it, there is no sense to take up the rest. All tracks in a story lead to it. And only after you determine who, where, when and how will face each other, you can come up with the rest of the story.
Requirements to an Obligatory Scene
The most important requirement (after the presence of this scene, of course) is that the reader should receive there what he wants but a very different way from what he expected. All the complexity of an obligatory scene lies in the fact that the reader is subconsciously waiting for it and knows that it will happen sooner or later. Therefore, the scene should surprise the reader.
In our example, the reader expects the hero to fight the villain in his lair – a huge, impregnable castle, and then take the treasure. Well, how to deceive the reader’s expectations? For example, like this:
• The protagonist makes the way to the fort, fighting with guards, but can’t find the villain. He takes the treasure from the golden pedestal, but nothing happens. He comes out of the castle, but there is no chase. He’s disoriented. Can it be so simple? No, of course. When he returns home, he finds his city burned to the ground, and on the ruins of the palace sits the main villain. And it is now nowhere to run – the hero takes the fight!
This, of course, only the one of a huge variety of ideas that may come to your mind. However, it illustrates the need to deceive the reader and surpass his expectations.
Well, an obligatory scene does not always result in a battle for life and death. It is often a conversation. If we are dealing with a romantic history, it is the reunion of lovers or the last night before departing. It all depends on the nature of the conflict, which is why I recommend you first think through the obligatory scene, and only then pass to writing the rest of the literature work.
I wish you best of luck in your writing endeavors and hope that you’ll be able to successfully apply my advice to practice!
Lucy Adams is a freelance blogger and writer always ready to prepare the best essay for you. She’s an aspiring author who feels comfortable with covering a wide range of topics, from literature and writing to business and marketing. Lucy is open to new ideas – share with the blogger what you have in mind, and get a high-quality article in return! By the way, guest blogs require no fee!
How to Write Obligatory Scenes
A Word from the Writer
Contributed by Lucy Adams