Dialogue, Scene Setting & Building Tension: A Study – Pt3 (& Mah Plans 30/06 and Half Year Recap)

I’ve been talking about The Matrix trilogy for three weeks now. This is the last of the posts I had planned. The other two are here and here.

Today it’s building tension. And there’s a lot of it in this trilogy. Though it seems to me a lot of the ‘tricks’ involved are the same over and over, but with a different coat of paint. Oh, and if you’ve not seen the trilogy then I’m sorry, but I’ve no idea how to do this without giving spoilers, so you might want to just skip this post. Soz.

In the first film it’s about dramatic tension, or us knowing something that the characters don’t. The Oracle tells Neo that he’s not The One and that Morpheus is going to give himself up because we believe otherwise. Well… I’m probably not alone in saying that I feel it would have been a bloody disappointing film if he wasn’t The One, so, as a first time watcher, I knew something odd was going on. Someone was clearly getting played; but was it us, or was it Neo? Turns out it was both. :p

The second film there’s a good ‘will they / won’t they’ thing going on, particularly in some of the fight scenes. Neo also has several dreams in which he sees Trinity falling from a building. Again, as watchers we can assume that this will have a part to play later, but Neo doesn’t know what happens to her at the end of the fall and neither do we. So we spend good chunks of the film knowing that this terrible scene is coming, but having no idea how it’s going to end.

The third film is all about ‘the ticking clock.’ Neo must be rescued from the Trainman before the Merovingian finds out he’s there. Nairobi (LOVE that name!) must reach Zion before the machines do too much damage. Neo must reach the machine city to negotiate with them before the sentinel army wipes out the entire population of Zion. All of these things add a layer of tension to what is already happening in the story; the growing powers of Agent Smith, Neo’s ability to affect the Matrix while not jacked in, Morpheus’ sense of betryal, Zion preparing for war…. It’s all going on!

Many of these tricks can be used in writing too. In the case of Silk Over Razor Blades there are quite a few instances where the narrative tells the reader something that Lenina doesn’t yet know, or allows the reader to infer some things that Lenina isn’t capable of figuring out yet. I think that’s one of my favourite devices to keep people hooked in. There’s no ‘ticking clock’ in this story but I do make use of a parallel time line to drop hints about what’s happening to her. I’ve never used something like that before but beta reviews indicate that these sequences are sure favourites. People seem to enjoy those more than the main storyline! Which means I need do some work on the main storyline. o.O

Any, that’s me done bitching about discussing The Matrix trilogy. I’m going to move on to the next half of this extraordinarily long titled post. Remember, if you don’t care about that sort of thing, there’s no need to hang around. Enjoy your day. x

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipartLast post of the month on the last day of the month, it must be time to do the mid year round up! Raven’s done hers already, so I’m going to nab her ‘template’ to go through all the bits n bobs I want to discuss.

Last Week

Continue to write, on average 2000 words per working day on WTRE
Eeeerm, yeah!

Facebook status re wordcount.


Read at least two peer blog posts per day – I’ve missed keeping up with you guys and feeling horribly guilty about dropping off the grid. I’m coming back!
Not two every day, but I averaged that over the week. I’m so thrilled to see you all doing so well in various ways and being so cheerful. As ever I’m wowed by your talented and thrilled to know you through your words. 🙂

Look at three chapters of SORB with my beta notes
Nope. Got distracted.

Outline another short story for CF
Done. In fact I outlined two stories, though one I might enter to a competition instead. Hmm. Anyway, regardless, I just need to write them now.

Edit the faerie short story and send it out
The short story was originally 770 words. It’s now nudging towards 3000 so the place I had lined up for it is no longer appropriate. -_- I also think I could stretch it even further; it has the legs to be a 10k story. *sigh* So I’ll have to put that to one side until I’m done with WTRE and then go back to it.

I didn’t do badly actually. I’m pleased that I managed so much with all the other distractions going on. And I managed to give myself time off at the weekend to do other jobs that were piling up. I wonder if I can keep it up….

Goals for 2014 (Recap)

They really were big beasts, these goals. Some of them, I know right now, will not get done.

Publish ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ (SORB) through Little Vamp Press
I’m on track. So far, so good. ^_^

Write first draft of ‘Walking The Razor’s Edge (WTRE)
Reached the half way point on Friday. It’s all looking good.

Write first draft of ‘On A Knife Point (OAKP) – NB: SORB, WTRE and OAKP are the novel which make a single trilogy, tentatively named ‘Saar’s Legacy’
I intend for this to be my NaNo project this year, so, again I’m on track. So long as I’m done drafting WTRE I’ll be good to go.

Have Clash of the Animal Kings (CoTAK) ready for external editing
A noble goal, but it’s not going to happen. Too much other stuff going on. I’ll have to save that for next year.

Create and populate a fresh solo website (with static content) to run alongside this blog
Like Raven, mine is almost done. Just need to sort out the freebie pages, link in the domain name and it’s good to go.

So with all that on the cards looking into the rest of the year I think it’s more of the same.

By The End of 2014…

  1. Ensure solo website is complete and live
  2. Have ebook versions of SORB on sale with preparations in the mix for physical copies (through Create Space)
  3. Complete first draft of WTRE
  4. Complete first draft of OAKP

Sounds like a lot. But most of that is writing and it’s writing about characters I love. That’s awesome and I can’t help but think how lucky I am to be able to do this. I’m really looking forward to the last half of the year.

Goals For July 2014

  1. Another 40,000 words complete of WTRE
  2. Finalise solo website and hit ‘go’

That is PLENTY to keep me going throughout the month. Taking into account I have a LARP as well (YEY!) which will take me out of work for four days (maybe five).

This Week

  1. Continue to write, on average 2000 words per working day (at least five days) on WTRE
  2. Look at the freebies I intend to give away on the solo website and pick one to get ready

Haha, compared to last week this is a significant drop in goals. But the most important goals I have are my own projects for the moment. In later weeks I’ll be able to tell you more about other exciting things I’m involved in (sooooo excited!), but not just yet. Those other things will, in turn, change up some of these goals, but that’s partly what this posts are for. Mixing things up and adapting to changing circumstances is a good thing.

There! Phew.Well done if you’ve made it to the bottom of this mammoth list. :p And thanks. I know these goals are mostly for me, but for those of you who get this far and see what I’m doing, that’s as much a spur as anything else which keeps me going.new ileandra signature,

About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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4 Responses to Dialogue, Scene Setting & Building Tension: A Study – Pt3 (& Mah Plans 30/06 and Half Year Recap)

  1. ioniamartin says:

    This has been a fun and enlightening series:) Thank you for sharing it.


  2. Pingback: So What IS It About Zombies? (& Mah Plans 07/07) | Writing: A Conversation Without Interruptions

  3. Pingback: IY: Mah Plans – 01/12 and November Round Up | Writing: A Conversation Without Interruptions

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