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Writing Blockbuster Plots by Martha Alderson

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Chapter Fifteen

Scene Versus Summary

A great scene invites readers to immerse themselves in a story, absorb the words, and become the character. They aren’t stopping to think about what’s happening but are living in the scene and viscerally processing each moment. The following scene is a terrific example.

Charlie felt the hot rush of shot fly past his face, and his legs shook under him with the boom of the gun. But it was a clean miss, and he started to run at Jerry, closing the distance even as Jerry fished in his pocket for another load. Twenty feet …

Jerry cursed and broke open the breech. Twelve feet …

He slapped in the fresh shell. Eight feet …

He snapped the gun closed. Six feet …

He threw it to his shoulder. Four feet …

He saw a fist ...

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