Posted by : E.v.R. | On : October 18, 2007

We usually find scene setups and payoffs under it’s more common name, foreshadowing. The problem is the definition of foreshadowing doesn’t necessarily teach you how to use it in a scene-centric way.

For that I’m going to reference a very popular and cheesy action movie from 1989.

Setups & Payoffs from Lethal Weapon 2

The Nail Gun

At the beginning of Lethal Weapon 2, we have a scene at Murtaugh’s house where it’s obvious there is work being done by a contractor. Riggs and Murtaugh find the contractor using a nail gun — a novelty item for the two men to admire.

At first glance this seems like a pointless scene, until later when Murtaugh is attacked in his house by The Bad Guys. Not having a weapon handy, he struggles to reach the nail gun left behind by the contractor — the nail gun that we, as the audience, knew existed because there was a scene showing off the setup.

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Posted by : E.v.R. | On : September 5, 2007

The price for plotting? You must search for meaning within your scenes.

Bob and Alice meet up at the local Tex Mex restaurant, and argue about welfare. That’s a plot.

Let’s say Bob is against it, and Alice is for it. You can sit down and just write it, and let the scene develop a life of its own. But without more character dirt, that’s going to be hard to do. You may end up writing a few lines, and just staring at the page. The mere plot may not be enough to sustain your writing.

You need reasons for why the characters believe the things they do. It’s the ultimate question of “Why?”

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