Making A Scene

In a previous post – Marie and Buckingham – I talked about a spy report that had been found behind a bust at the Prefecture of the Police in Paris in the 19th century.

It was written for Richelieu and tells about the activities surrounding Anne of Austria in May 1625, just after the wedding of Henrietta Maria, when Buckingham visited Paris to escort the new Queen to England.

These events are important to the plot of this novel in progress and, as much as I love the idea of writing a scene wherein Buckingham wears five disguises in one day, it’s not practical.
But…
The report includes another incident involving Marie de Rohan and Buckingham which will make a perfect scene.

So – I thought I’d break down the act of writing a scene and post the various steps needed here…just a little exercise shared between you and me!

OK. Let’s begin.

First off – I’m writing about real people and real historical events.

This scene can only go in one place.

Secondly – I already have a draft (all right, several drafts) of the novel so my framework is built. This scene can only go in one place.
Sorted.

Decisions need to be made beforehand because a scene must do several things at once .

It must be written from one point of view.
It must elucidate all the characters involved – their wants, needs and personalities.
It must drive the plot forward.
It must give vital information through setting, backstory, foreshadowing and, most importantly, dialogue.
It must always include a memorable, significant action which plays out in real time.

Oh – and it must have a beginning,a middle and an end.

This scene – we’ll call it The White Lady – will be written from Marie de Rohan’s point of view.
The players include Marie, Anne of Austria, Buckingham, Pierre la Porte and Wat Montagu.
The plot is moved forward (in fact these events reverberate for years to come) and various personality traits are highlighted.

And, the significant action involves a man dressed as a ghost.

The next step will be preparation. Gathering together all the information needed to write the scene.

Nil desperandum

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