C.J. Hribal: It’s 10 PM—Do You Know Where Your Scenes Are? (January 1994)
Good scenes are difficult to write, C.J. Hribal suggests, requiring the writer to relinquish control of his or her characters; yet scenes of action, whether this action is shown or implied, are crucial to stories. Hribal looks at Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl,” Margaret Atwood’s “Rape Fantasies,” Peter Taylor’s “The Gift of the Prodigal,” and Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” to consider subtle ways that writers can build compelling scenes through implication, ambiguity and heightened expectation.