I was invited by Kim Smuga-Otto and Renee Nelson, hosts for the Words to Write By Podcast, to speak about scene goals and whether my own book, Hold on please, Emily, followed Jack Bickham’s writing advice in his book, Scenes & Structure.
Today, the podcast episode was released and you can listen to the entire show here. Season 1, Episode 19 of Words to Write By (Tactical Disasters, Meaningful Change, and More Scene Rules. Oh, My!), I discuss scene goals, along with two other authors, Chris Harget and Kristen Tate, and we all highlight that there are nuisances to how we apply Bickham’s theory when developing our stories.
Some background information about Jack Bickham’s book and its connection to the podcast:
Kim and Renee select books that offer advice on writing, break it down, offer their opinions, and see if it applies to real book examples. Since S1, Ep 16, they’ve been working through Bickham’s book, chapter-by-chapter, with their audience. What I find fascinating about Kim and Renee’s approach to their podcast is the similarities to how students approach theorical studies in university. You will find on their website that they have activities to follow and they draw from relatable examples in media to explain their points.
Scene & Structure offers advice on crafting the structure of your fiction book. In the previous episode (Season 1, Episode 18), Bickham argues that every scene follows scene goals, which include a conflict and ends with a tactical disaster.
As you listen to Episode 19, you’ll notice that all three authors felt that Bickham’s theory on scene goals only applied in principle, but there is a lot more to how authors organize their books that should be considered.
During my interview, I used examples from my debut novel, Hold on please, Emily, to demonstrate that scene goals are not always clearly defined and how we must trust our readers to be curious by giving them space to figure it out for themselves.
Listen to the full podcast to here to find out more. Also, check out Kim and Renee’s website here to learn about their story and other writing tips they offer for writers, like how to accept rejection.