There’s No Scene Without a Scenario
You want something to start happening on the page, but where do you start? I know first hand how tempting it is to conjure up whatever we accept as dramatic or exciting or nuanced and try to piece it together from there. Or to get inside the head of some interesting character.
But it’s much simpler than that. A scene is a scenario. And a scenario is an imbalanced environment that prompts someone to act. Thirsty out in the desert is a primitive scenario. Farting in front of the class creates a more contemporary scenario.
A complete scenario prompts the question, “How are they going to deal with this?” and the scene follows.
The scenario provides the rules, objectives, obstacles, and players of the game. You need to do this before characters can start playing. If done well, the scenario invites the audience to play along, too.
That’s what engaging means.
Create the right conditions and the drama will flourish. Like watering a plant.