Craft, Critique, Dream, Editing, Feedback, Fiction, Group, Movies, Novel, Query, Revision, Writing

Scene shifting

I’m still a little dizzy after seeing the movie Inception yesterday. I tried hard to keep each thread of the story straight, but ended up in a tangle. To me, dreams within dreams within dreams … was more confusing than time travel. (Or maybe I was just too distracted by how much Joseph Gordon-Levitt looks like Heath Ledger.) And what about that ending that doesn’t end—did it topple or not? Nonetheless, I felt satisfied with the experience.

I’d like to know how they crafted the Inception storyline. I can’t imagine it was written the way it played out. I would write each dream/reality sequence  chronologically and then shift and intertwine them. But what do I know? I have never, and don’t think I could, write a story like that. Not just because it’s so complicated, but also because I don’t have the kind of writer’s mind for mystery/thrillers. My latest chapter revision is difficult enough.

At my last critique group meeting, we agreed I should rearrange the order of all the scenes in my new opening chapter. On Friday, I printed out the chapter and cut the scenes apart. It looked an impossible puzzle with all the scenes spread out on the table. My first attempt at reordering was a mess; the second was better, and on the third try it fell into place … I think. Then I used a glue stick to put the scenes back together in a new order. Now I’ll have to write new connecting narrative between these scenes.

Another suggestion from my C.P.s was that I might be trying to fit too much information in one chapter, so I’ll be considering that too. All this is good. Deep down, I felt I’d started this novel wrong. Now I’m correcting that. Next up will be a query letter revision. Fun, fun, fun … not.

Your turn: What will you be working on this week?

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21 thoughts on “Scene shifting”

  1. My husband and I love movies but always end up waiting for the DVD so Inception will be top of the heap when it comes out–I am so intrigued!
    Memento (another of this director’s work, if I recall?) was also one of those story lines that had me so curious about it’s evolution, from the mind to the page to the screen…


    1. My husband and I rarely agree on a movie, so we don’t usually go out either. This one looked interesting to both of us and we thought the special effects might be worth the ticket price.

      My guess is that Momento was first written normally, from beginning to end, but scripted and filmed in the opposite order. But then, that might have been too simple. 🙂


    1. Mary, I’ve watched the whole end credits sequence on YouTube, but I didn’t find any answer. I know there was a rumor about a sound, but I think the director himself discounted that. Did you see or hear something? If so, you probably shouldn’t spoil it here for others who haven’t seen the movie yet.


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