“The modern artist...is working and expressing an inner world—in other words—expressing the energy, the motion, and other inner forces.” —Jackson Pollock
Many people have asked me why I divided Bookflow into scenes instead of into chapters. That’s a great question. As readers, we notice the breaks in chapters, not scenes. That’s where we like to place our bookmarks. So why should a writer think in scenes?
There is a tremendous difference in the way a novel is written and the way it is read. Obviously, reading goes much more quickly than writing does, and chapters are created for readers, not writers. Chapters can contain one scene or many, and their main function is to give the reader a place to pause—nobody wants to leave off in the middle of the page or, worst of all, just when things are getting exciting.
Scenes, on the other hand, are the building blocks of every story. Every scene contains an emotional hub that makes the rest of the scene spin. If you do not have that center point, that central moment at which the emotion undergoes dynamic transformation, the rest of the world you have created will not turn. The scene will feel stagnant, and the reader will say, “Nothing is happening,” and then they will put down your book and go eat some candy.
A scene is a unit of emotional time, one in which something important changes for one or more of the characters. The essence of motion is movement, derived from the Latin movere, which is logical, because our feelings are in a constant state of flux. Every scene is a single unit of movement; one spin on an emotional axis. When it comes around again, the emotion has changed, and a new revolution begins. We, the reader, must witness this change, but—even more important—we must experience it.
The Mindfulness Of Scenes
Writing is the art of bringing someone’s attention to a single moment and the change in the flow of energy that happens inside that moment.
Writing is the art of bringing someone’s attention to a single moment and the change in the flow of energy that happens inside that moment. This is the essence of mindfulness; it is the same as observing the change from the inhale to the exhale or from one step to another. I created Bookflow’s scene feature with the intention to help writers notice these moments. Of course, you may choose to bundle them into chapters, but these moments are the building blocks of all storytelling.