Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Obligatory Scene

I first learned about this term in my playwriting class at graduate school. What is an obligatory scene? It's the climax. Every play, screenplay, and novel has this crucial scene. Someone has said, "If there is no obligatory scene, you don't have a story." This scene does not come from nowhere. To achieve it, we need to build it up. In Westerns, this scene usually comes when the good guys and the bad guys line up facing each other and pull out their guns. The final shootout.

Since the obligatory scene exists (it should be there) in every play, movie, and novel, it is easy for us to spot it. However, it is not easy to write it. It takes work.

Again, I'd like to repeat: in real life, we try to avoid conflicts as much as we can, especially the big one. In writing, we need it badly. Have fun with this final, big confrontation. Let your story shine.

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