Sunday, May 6, 2012

The "Screaming Moment"

It's an element of a good story, but probably not one that you've seen in a class.  I decided to call it the "screaming moment".  It's the point in the story, usually the climax, where the protagonist is screaming and no one is listening or everything suddenly becomes clear.  It happens in the great stories.

Of course, "The Lord of the Rings" - where Denethor is about to burn his son alive, thinking that hope is lost.  Faramir is still alive and Pippin doesn't want him to be killed!  It gives me goose bumps.


Another example would be "A Little Princess" - she sees her father, but he was injured and has no memory of her.  This scene is my favorite in the movie, though it always makes me cry.  I watched it with my little sister, Aly, who was six at the time and she crawled into my lap, crying because the daddy doesn't know his daughter.



In addition to that, there's the scene in "Hook" with Robin Williams where he has finally figured out who he is and fighting for his children, but Rufio is killed, the boy that was like him but younger.  I love how he screams no and Rufio's last words to him.


Those are just three examples.

I wrote a scene in "Nameless" where two of the characters are screaming and calling out for each other as one is taken to their death.  No one is listening to their screams and the heart of the character is broken.  It's a very strong and emotional scene.  The voice in the scene is strong, not only the physical voice but the "voice" of the character is deep within the scene.

That's a powerful scene.  It doesn't have to be a scream, but it has to be there. :)    Can you think of others?

9 comments:

  1. I LOVE that scene in Lord of the Rings<3
    "Go now and die in what way seems best to you."

    That and when he sees the Army on his doorstep and starts screaming for everyone to run for their lives and Gandalf smacks him upside the head are easily my favorite Denethor scenes. Though, I was never particularly found of him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that line too! Gandalf smacking Denethor is awesome! I wasn't ever found of him either, he actually just really annoyed me - sending his younger son to die and not caring. Bad man. I also really like the part where Gandalf is talking to Pippin about it not being the end and that once this part is over... they will see white shores and beyond. :)

      Delete
  2. Great point! That moment of desperation on the part of the protagonist is an important story element.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is! That desperation is important to the story and a great part to read usually!

      Delete
  3. I can't think of any off the top of my head, but I have no doubt I've seen or read lots of them. I love a scene in a book that just grips you and won't let go.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good observation. I'll have to check and see if my wip has anything like this in it. It is very powerful emotionally.

    ReplyDelete
  5. All three of those movies fall under my favorites - maybe just because of those scenes? Thanks for pointing this out because you're right. Every good story needs a scream scene.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Screaming Moment. I like that! Wonderfully intense and emotional moments. My current WIP doesn't have a moment like that, but my story for the A to Z Challenge has a great one.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, I remember when I watched Labyrinth with my nephew (at the time he was 4). Throughout the movie, he kept on saying: "Is the baby going to be ok?" I sort of laughed and wondered if I had chosen unwisely to watch this movie. But at the end, when the baby is saved by his sister, my nephew said: "The baby's ok. That's good." That's sort of a "screaming moment" where all turns out well.

    ReplyDelete