E15 – Scene Analysis with Ian Worrall (video, show notes, transcript)
This week we do a scene analysis with thriller author Ian Worrall!
Find Ian at:
No Remorse No Regret: https://books2read.com/u/bowLPv
No Rest For The Vengeful: https://books2read.com/u/4XXrgv
Witness Unprotection: https://books2read.com/u/bOoZaE
Support us on Patreon at https://patreon.com/revisionwizards
The Revision Wizards are at https://www.revisionwizards.com
V.E. Griffith’s website: https://www.vegriffith.com
Miss Catherine M.H.’s website: https://www.scribes-pen.com
Transcript at: https://revisionwizards.com/?p=2148
Miss Catherine M.H. 0:00
Welcome to the revision wizards Podcast. I’m Miss Catherine MH and I am joined by the all powerful editing mage V.E. Griffith. This is episode 15 And today we’re doing a scene analysis with Ian Worrall. This episode is sponsored by our amazing patrons, who helped us to build our podcast so we can help you make your editing and revision process better.
V.E. Griffith 0:22
This week, we want to give a huge shout out to Mary van Everbroeck, who has very generously upped her Patreon pledge. She’s super active in our community and we love having her along for the ride. If you’d like to support the show for as little as a buck an episode, we have a bunch of neat benefits you can take advantage of including a special podcast feed with extra content and personal updates. Early Access to scene analysis slots, the opportunity to ask questions for Ask the editor episodes, professional editing and more. You can find out everything you need to know at patreon.com/revisionwizards and with that. Here we go with Ian. Okay, so this morning we’re we’re on for a scene analysis within Ian, if you could tell us your name and your pronouns.
Ian Worrall 1:09
Ian Worrall, he/him.
V.E. Griffith 1:13
Thanks very much. Okay. Tell us about this scene that we’re that we’re about to analyze what what’s going on? And what are you intending for this scene? What What’s it about? What What’s the book about?
Ian Worrall 1:25
Well, the book is a undercover cop, he gets burned on an operation by somebody and so his reporting gets killed. So he has to bring a junky prostitute into hiding to stop her from getting killed from the bikers that started started. That part happened right before the start of the book. And so in this scene, bikers have taken his ex wife, his son and his ex mother in law as hostage as well as the girl that he tried to rescue, hostage. So he has to choose between saving her or saving his ex wife and son, and ex mother in law.
V.E. Griffith 2:05
Okay, that sounds like quite the scene if you do it, right.
Ian Worrall 2:10
V.E. Griffith 2:11
So, okay, Miss Catherine, you want to get started on the characters?
Miss Catherine M.H. 2:16
Sure. So I focused on mine on his name is Lawson, right?
Ian Worrall 2:21
Miss Catherine M.H. 2:23
Okay. I’m so bad with names. I focused on Lawson. And because we didn’t get too much of the the other characters. So for me, his voice when he was talking, which were a few little points, he was very angry, which is understandable in the situation. He’s in his emotional state, you could tell he was torn with this choice that he has to make. There. There’s the ups, there’s the downs, he’s crying, he’s like hitting stuff. He’s breaking phones. So you can see his emotional state in that way. And that’s the same with I thought the physical, it was very, very mirrored to it, you could see the moments where his training would kick in, and he would try to calm himself. But there was still that rising, emotional toll that was taking over.
V.E. Griffith 3:22
I thought he sounded, I thought he sounded very educated, very aware of himself. Of his capabilities of his limitations, it was clear to me that he realized that in this situation in the situation the bad guys have put him into, he can save one or the other, but not both. And that that’s the deliberate that’s the deliberate position, you know, they want him in. So I think it I think it was it was well executed. Turbo sounds executed, but his, but he’s clearly a subordinate. His diction is good. He he speaks like correct English, but he may not actually be very smart. Which is, which is now remember, I only have this little bitty bit from him. But his he was like, Well, what’s going to happen? Well, when will we know? Those are the kinds of things that someone in his position might be able to come up with intuitively, and he didn’t. So I don’t know if that’s what you were intending, but that’s the way it came across to me. He doesn’t really have a good sense of the capabilities of his opponent. The likely outcome of this fight and of course, the reader always knows what’s you know, the outcome of the fight because generally the good guy wins. But, you know, he’s, he’s physically he’s healthy, but he’s concerned for his future welfare because most people don’t want to get shot. Damian, his boss sounds to me commanding and in control. He doesn’t underestimate his opponent. He’s very clear about his opponents capabilities. And I think that that’s, that comes through in just the couple of sentences that we have from him in that telephone conversation. And he doesn’t seem particularly concerned about other people. And he’s ready to make a go of it. He’s, he’s ready for this fight. He wants this, you know, bring it on. So that’s, that’s where we are with characters. We have a real short character list this time. So did we get it right?
Ian Worrall 5:30
Yes. Sort of all the reason that Damien would know, Lawson’s capabilities because he is actually it would be revealed that Damien was his former was Lawson’s former partner turned him in as a dirty cop. And so he went to prison. So Lawson thought that his partner got killed in prison. And so actually turbo would be the, the president of the other chapter, the biker clubs. So Damian, he’s just deferring to Damien, because he No, Damien would have known.
V.E. Griffith 6:03
Okay, that makes sense. Yeah, that makes sense. And that comes across very well. Ms. Catherine, how about protagonist wants and needs, are protecting his wants, let’s say,
Miss Catherine M.H. 6:17
okay. So his wants, he wants to save people. I think that’s very well portrayed. He definitely wants to keep people safe. He already knows that message that dinged in the cupholder. He’s like, I know what it is. It still was like a shock to him. But his his want to help people and save people isn’t there? It’s not acquired just yet. So we’ll, we’ll see. But it’s very clear that that’s what he wants to be able to do.
V.E. Griffith 6:54
Yeah, he wants to rescue both his family and Veronica. I rated this section to be excellent. It comes through. Sorry about that. It comes through loud and clear as he thinks through his tactics, he thinks through his options. It’s real simple and straightforward. So
Miss Catherine M.H. 7:21
I think it does well to mimic the internal needs, which is internal need to me, is to protect. So he wants to be able to protect people. And he’s having that struggle with it right now. Because, yes, he can save someone, which is what he wants to do. But then internal I must protect people is at odds because he can only pick certain people. And it does make me wonder because I’ve only read this one chapter. So it makes me wonder what would have happened originally to have made the people who would normally protect the most so distant that he could choose somebody else.
Ian Worrall 8:07
Yeah I guess basically the way that we shown earlier when he was talking with Veronica when he would be spent so much time undercover undercover cop because he thought that that would help keep his family safe from like the all the bad people in the world. And he sort of like the so busy with his job, he accidentally inadvertently neglected his family.
V.E. Griffith 8:33
And yeah, it seemed to me that his that his internal need is to reunite with his son or perhaps all of his family. Whether or not he acquired it is undetermined at this point. This scene is obviously just too short. And it’s an introduction to a battle scene. I felt like that internal need was clear. He directly thinks about it. It’s something that he considers that he goes through in his head. At this point, he may actually be aware of his emotional wound. Because we’re and so considering how it how to heal it or how to move forward with it. On the part of the character he is appropriate for consideration this late in the story. I I thought it was really well done. It was another excellent for me. So but there’s I think there’s a little difference between the in between me and Catherine. I think I think his primary need is to is to heal his family not just protect people. Is that where you were going Ian? Yeah.
Ian Worrall 9:43
That’s pretty much what it would be.
Miss Catherine M.H. 9:46
Okay, strike out for me.
V.E. Griffith 9:50
That’s okay. We, you know, I It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s another one of those times where sometimes you know, the reader has to interpret too. So Oh, I’m so what? For the forces of antagonisms, external pursuits, I, I felt like his want in this scene was simply to force a confrontation. And it’s clear he’s going to get it. He wants a confrontation with Lawson. He, he taunts Lawson with the photography. If he were only intent on causing harm, he just kill or torture the hostages and be done with it. Instead, he’s, he’s going the nyah-nyah-nyah route. You know, I’ve got them and you want them? So I thought that this was excellent as well. Catherine?
Miss Catherine M.H. 10:44
Yeah, so I definitely thought that his external pursuit is to make him pick the impossible. Which, which person or group do you want to protect? And will you get here and enough time to even save them? Or have you made choices, even though I’m going to shoot the person right after I get done sending you the pictures? So I think it’s he was definitely wants our protagonist to make an impossible decision. And yeah, he pretty much guessed that.
V.E. Griffith 11:22
I felt like the flip side of that I rated the internal need the internal desire, then of the antagonist, to be fair, but I will say that the reason for that was because I was only looking at this 900 Word scene, I feel like based on what I see here, the antagonists internal wound is going is will probably have been well explained or will be well explained in the future. And I just haven’t seen it from this little, you know, 1000 word clip. So, but that’s I’m open to the possibility that the remainder of the manuscript is fantastic. So, you know, I don’t I don’t think based on what I see that, that there’s any, there’s any ambiguity on your part about about what’s driving this character, and I think that that’s going to wind up coming through in the remainder of the manuscript.
Miss Catherine M.H. 12:25
I rated it underdeveloped just for this chapter. And that’s because all we have is this chapter. And I couldn’t really see, like I read what your internal desire for him had been. But from that small, little bit, I didn’t see it. But also, you’re at chapter 51. You’ve probably we probably have seen it at this point. So I’m not concerned about it either.
V.E. Griffith 12:55
What do you think, Ian? Are we on the money?
Ian Worrall 12:57
Oh, yeah. It seems to be on money on that. Yeah.
V.E. Griffith 13:01
Okay. Is this is where we’ve been so far. Basically, what you were shooting for in the scene?
Ian Worrall 13:08
Yeah, it was Yeah. Okay.
V.E. Griffith 13:11
All right. Miss Catherine, what’s the conflict here?
Miss Catherine M.H. 13:17
So the conflict for me, so I didn’t read through your explanation. First, I went and did it and then read all of your guys’s explanations. So they might be a little different. But the conflict for me was the moment where he has to decide which person he’s going to save. He’s given two options. So that is his conflict. And I think it’s an excellent conflict, because you see him fall back on his normal training, where he’s trying to stay calm and squash out the emotion of the Oh shit, everything’s happening. And oh, my God, they have them. And he’s got to be like, okay, the conflict is they’re asking me to choose. And so that’s what I thought was the moment of conflict of where he’s like, who is who am I closer to?
V.E. Griffith 14:14
Yeah, i i the conflict. The conflict for me is the kidnapping and the need to rescue both Veronica and the family. That leads to the choice directly to the choice which one do I go for? And I rated it as as good only because because again, the scene because it’s not a surprise that he’s going to go after he’s going to go try and save them because that’s the nature of the book and the genre. It may be that the hostage taking was a surprise in a previous scene and So that might upgrade the rating here, up to excellent. But it his need to make this choice wasn’t a surprise given that, you know, he gets these text messages with these pictures, you know? So but I think I think overall this is this this is gonna wind up being, you know a good show. So
do we have it right? Are we are we?
Ian Worrall 15:31
Okay? You gotta write those pretty much. Like I remember reading like in the three story method are like he was a bad choice choice between two bad choices which one? So that was what the that was what that was trying to convey there yes to make the choice between which had attained two bad choices.
V.E. Griffith 15:50
Yeah, I thought the choice section? Yeah, I thought the choice section was very clearly a best bad choice. The presentation is excellent, the stakes are high, they’re clear, we know what happens if he chooses one, we know what happens if he chooses the other. The reader is told which choice the protagonist makes. But the protagonist understands there’s significant downsides. The genre is probably in the book is probably you know, I know intellectually, that the that we’re going to rescue everybody at the end, maybe the ex wife or maybe the mother in law gets killed, which may or may not be a good thing. But it’s clear, it isn’t clear that from this scene, that that’s possible. And so the reader is propelled forward into the story to find out the resolution and the consequence. So Catherine, how did you rate the choice?
Miss Catherine M.H. 16:53
So I rated the choice is good. And that’s because I think there are times where it’s almost like you’re hand holding us through the choice. And then you’re literally saying he’s made his choice. So for me, that’s a little, I would like to see it more through body language or some internal dialogue. However, that changes the pacing. And I personally like more details, but the pacing of this is done really well. It is fast. It’s quick, he’s got to make the choice quickly. So if you were to add those things, it would definitely slow it down. So I think overall, it was done. Well, he’s made the choice. And his choice is I’m going for Veronica.
V.E. Griffith 17:39
Yeah. And I thought I in terms of leading from choice to consequence, I thought the consequence was fair, in that it’s obvious that Lawson will move to implement his choice. On the other hand, in a scene that’s this short, that’s really all that we have time for. I understand that this is sort of a connector scene between probably between an action scene a little bit of a down to figure out what to do, and then we’re going back into another action scene. So it seems to me like we are at and this is just my guess it seems like we are at one of the story wide choices, not just a scene level choice. And so and I’m I’m guessing that because the stakes are so high. This is this is different than, you know, a beginning of the book, should I go to bed? Or should I go out to drink? You know? I think that since it’s the story wide choice, it’s appropriate. We don’t have a resolution in this short scene. So but it is, obviously he’s going to he’s going to make his choice, he’s going to implement it. And that’s as far as we get. So
Miss Catherine M.H. 18:57
interesting. I looked at this a little differently, because why wouldn’t I right? I rated this as excellent because my consequence for it was that he’s decided on revenge. At this point, he is going to make these bikers pay and it starts that build up. You’re expecting something so as the reader you know, that like shits about to get real, the antagonist knows that something’s coming too. So like you’re building for that you’re also building to see if she’s already dead or not. And then you know that the main character is now starting to build his plan. So I thought that that was really great foreshadowing to what is hopefully like this great climactic scene of like this whole battle going down and you’re like, yes, or like, oh, no, as you watch through it, so I think it’s really good as the like building moment. So like, this has been going slow. Now he’s made his choice and it’s got to build pretty quick, because that’s kind of how I feel it’s going. So I thought the consequence was excellent.
V.E. Griffith 20:12
So where did where do you fall Ian? What do you think?
Ian Worrall 20:14
I’m probably somewhere in between both because like is just say, obviously that’s the for that part where it’s a connector saying like you said yes to, that should be done quick, the choice has to be done quick and everything has to build up up to where the final battle and stuff.
V.E. Griffith 20:33
Okay? What about showing versus telling Miss Catherine?
Miss Catherine M.H. 20:40
I rated this as good, there was a bit of telling, but it plays well with the pacing, because like I said, if you go into a lot of detail on showing, it’s going to slow that pacing down. And it wasn’t like it ever pulled me out of the story to have those bits of telling. So I thought it was it was pretty good. Personally, I just liked detail, but I know that it doesn’t match the pacing.
V.E. Griffith 21:05
But I rated this as fair, because there is a fair amount of telling. But if I didn’t, it wasn’t so bad that it needed a complete rewrite or anything like that. It it sort of works as it is there are a couple of places in the manuscript that I flagged, we could do this better instead of a tell, we could do this as the character thinking or the character screaming at the you know, at the steering wheel or something like that. That would make it you know, that would make it both as fast paced, but also a show so that we have to interpret what the character is thinking or what the character is saying, as opposed to simply the narrator telling us. Yeah. So how do you feel like you did with that Ian?
Ian Worrall 21:58
Well, a lot of it’s like, we’re sometimes I could probably add a little bit of showing in there. But sometimes it’s like Catherine said, sometimes putting too much detail slows down the pace. So
V.E. Griffith 22:11
yeah, I agree. It is a balancing act. And it’s Is this is this intended as a as a as a genre thriller? Yes. Okay. Yeah. So
Miss Catherine M.H. 22:21
There’s a lot more telling in those.
V.E. Griffith 22:23
yeah, there is a lot more telling it because it winds up being quicker. But it’s something I’m also a person that likes detail. And I like, you know, I like a lot of showing I, I like, I like it when the author gives me credit for the intelligence to figure out what’s going on with the protagonist, instead of just whumping me over the head with what’s going on with the protagonist. So that was let’s see, there was one that I marked, here it is, um, it’s right after your scene break. Where he actually he, he’s got his hands, you know, he steeples, his hands, he starts to cry, he’s slamming the phone. That whole thing sort of struck me as a tell. And it’s two very short paragraphs, it’s about five sentences or so. So it’s not a lot, but I did, I did suggest a way that we could get you know, it’s like he slams on the gas and off we go. You could do that through internal dialogue. And in terms of character voice, you could make the words short and choppy and the sentences not complete. Because I’m going to kill him I’m going to get him I’m you know, and that gives us both his voice into what’s going on in his head and also the brevity that that speeds up that speeds up pacing
Miss Catherine M.H. 23:57
I think that’s the spot I mark too where I was like a little more detail through this zone would be great or just I guess showing just a little bit more instead of the telling would be great for that section.
V.E. Griffith 24:12
Yeah. So what’s your reaction, Ian.
Ian Worrall 24:20
I guess I’d agree that both like do a little bit better on that being the analysis again you’d agree with both on that.
V.E. Griffith 24:34
Okay. Yeah, I mean, I I thought generally speaking the whole thing is pretty good. I think it’s just those two paragraphs that we could You could work on a little bit in terms of the next section on passive voice everybody knows who listens to this podcast that I absolutely hate passive voice. It drives me insane. And I rated this section to be excellent because I found almost no passive voice in the whole thing. I thought I thought it was really good. And there’s not honestly, there’s not much to be improved in terms of passive voice.
Miss Catherine M.H. 25:06
I rated it as good. Just because I’m still learning passive voice as VE knows, because he works on my stuff for me. So I thought it was good anytime I did notice it. And that’s only because now I’m trying to make sure I noticed it. It didn’t stop the flow of the story for me. So well done.
V.E. Griffith 25:31
Yeah. Okay, and Miss Catherine, what about sentence structure and punctuation and all those sorts of sorts of things, the mechanical.
Miss Catherine M.H. 25:41
So again, still learning half of that myself, but I thought it was excellent. It didn’t really take me like, I didn’t notice anything really blaring. There was one spot, I made a note that I was like, You’re missing the word all right here. And then there was one sentence that I did highlight for you that when reading it, it just sounded very awkward as I was reading it, and I was like, There’s something in this sentence that seems off, maybe it just needs like a switch around or something. But I did highlight that one for you. Other than that, I thought it was really clean, that I enjoyed reading it. Okay.
Ian Worrall 26:21
I think the part we said the highlighted didn’t work. You’re sort of awkward. I think that was when you see what he was talking about all the work she did to get out there because it’s all the work she did to get off of heroin because he was a former former junkie. That’s what that that’s what that meant there.
Miss Catherine M.H. 26:40
V.E. Griffith 26:41
I gave it a ranking of underdeveloped. And part of this comes from my training as a line editor. And because I’m a pedant, and I look at this, I look at I look at this stuff, sentence by sentence. I found a number of sentence fragments, which are incomplete sentences. I found several errors in tense, which is where the narrator switches from past tense to present tense. So we looked at were coming, that kind of thing. And so I corrected those, and I flagged those. And I found a couple of instances where commas could be helpful or additional explanation, additional punctuation, could clarify ambiguous sentences. Microsoft Word I turned on track changes, which I’m sure you saw. Microsoft Word counted about 100 changes that I made. Which in something is short, honestly, for most writers is not unusual. I’m hard at this. I’m a hard grader at this. So you know, the fact that I found a lot doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a bad writer. Okay, yeah,
Miss Catherine M.H. 28:02
we can be deadly with it. Okay, I’ve handed him something. And he’s like, yeah, there’s like 700 changes. And I was like, oh, it’s that’s one chapter. And he’s like, yeah, I get to work on that. So,
V.E. Griffith 28:13
yeah, so I mean, I had been accused on many occasions of writing like a lawyer. The flip side of that is that for me, those kinds of line editing errors, pull me out of the story. And so it’s important to me as an editor, that we remove them, because we don’t want your writers pulled out of the story. Some of the changes that I make, maybe you want to change around a little bit again, as character voice, but, you know, take a look and see. Okay, so what did you think of the changes that I made? Or did have you had a chance to look
Ian Worrall 28:52
Some of them seem reasonable. Some of them I like, so they look good? Yeah. I thought I originally started at start through that as a present tense. And then when I when, in the earlier drafts, and I tried to switch it all the sort of past tense, here’s a thought I got it all.
V.E. Griffith 29:16
Okay, yeah, that explains there’s intense then yeah, that’s usually when they creep in, is when is when the author rewrites as, you know, rewrites the tense. That’s usually when those errors happen. So overall, I thought, you know, compared to some stuff I’ve seen, this is actually very good. Despite the despite my rating and the number of changes I’ve seen, I’ve seen way way, way worse come across my desk. So I think it’s I think it’s really good. This is a this is a story that I would like to read and that I would, you know, I would be interested to edit if you ever get to the chance where you get to the point where that’s something that you wanted to do. So
Miss Catherine M.H. 29:58
yeah, it was it was definitely Very good. The only thing that confused me was I thought he was on a motorcycle until halfway through. And then I was like, Oh, he’s in a car. But then I was like, I would have known that from the past chapter. So. Yeah. So but I really like it. It sounds good the pacing’s Very, very good. I think so like, yeah, good job. Thanks.
V.E. Griffith 30:26
Yeah. Did you have any questions before we wrap up?
Ian Worrall 30:30
Not the moment. No. Okay.
V.E. Griffith 30:35
All right. Well, tell us where, where our listeners can find you on the internet.
Ian Worrall 30:40
Oh, well, I have my website. Ianworrellauthor.com send you links to all that stuff. Plus, I got my facebook facebook page. I will author and I’m on Twitter @Scotiawriter on it. send you all the links and everything.
V.E. Griffith 30:55
Okay, great. Yeah, we’ll put those in the show notes for folks. Who, for bah, bah, bah, bah. So folks can find you. There we go. So all right. Well, thanks very much.
Miss Catherine M.H. 31:08
Thanks for being so brave to come join us.
Ian Worrall 31:11
Thank you for having me.
V.E. Griffith 31:12
You’re welcome. Thanks.