What is Your Story’s Iconic Scene?

When you’re making up your story, strive to create the strongest scenes possible. One way to do this is to create the most unique, memorable action possible that people will forever identify with your story.

In “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” everyone remembers the scene of a giant boulder rolling down a hill while Indiana Jones runs for his life.

In “Star Wars,” everyone remembers the scene where Luke finally trusts the Force and uses it to blow up the Death Star.

In “The Wizard of Oz,” everyone remembers Dorothy throwing a bucket of water on the Wicked Witch of the West and melting her to death.

If you can create memorable scenes, chances are good you’ll create a memorable story. By striving to create memorable action, you’ll be forced to avoid cliches that we’ve seen before that offers nothing new or interesting.

One reason bad movies are so bad is because they feel like they’re made up of borrowed scenes from better movies, slapped together like a Frankenstein monster. Bad movies often fail to show us anything new so they can’t help but be boring and uninteresting.

Watch copycat movies and you’ll see that they fail to offer anything new. When “Die Hard” first came out, Hollywood rushed a bunch of similar movies of one man fighting an army of terrorists. Hollywood went through a phase where writers would pitch ideas like, “It’s like ‘Die Hard’ except in a hockey arena!”

All of these ideas simply repeated the main action of “Die Hard” without showing us anything new. The only “Die Hard” clone that succeeded was “Under Siege,” which was like “Die Hard” except on a battleship.

When “Silence of the Lambs” came out, Hollywood rushed a bunch of similar hunt-the -serial-killer stories including one named “Copycat.” Such “Silence of the Lambs” clones repeated the main action of “Silence of the Lambs” without offering anything new or different. Is it any wonder why these copycat movies are completely forgotten today?

So when writing your own story, strive to create memorable scenes in every scene. You may not always succeed but by trying, you’ll at least avoid regurgitating a scene from a better movie.

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