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Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

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43THE FUNCTION OF SCENES

Every scene in every story has specific duties and obligations it must live up to. This is the province of craft, and while certain principles are indeed in play, execution is a function of author choice and taste. Storytelling is nothing if not a provider of great latitude, often with enough rope for the author to hang herself.

And thus are A-list writers distinguished from the rest.

These obligations—think of them as purposeful functions—exist on two distinct levels. One of them is obvious—you learned it in freshman creative writing, perhaps to your detriment—the other is one of the most powerful pieces of storytelling advice you will ever hear. And while it’s not all that complicated, it is the temptation to make ...

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