1. Home 
  2. Introduction
  3. On Our Glossary and Taxonomy
  4.     Glossary of Terms
  5.     Taxonomies of Creative Nonfiction
  6.             Central Questions
  7.             Dramatic Design
  8.             Forms
  9.             Genre and Veracity
  10.             Imagery
  11.             The Mind
  12.             Language
  13.             Narrative Energy
  14.             Narrators
  15.             Scene
  16.             Topics
  17.             Truth
  18. The Central Question Podcast
  19. Contact the Authors

Taxonomy of Scene (Chapter 9)

Altered Experiences affect how humans perceive time due to drug or alcohol use, medical issues, psychological issues, or spiritual issues. 

Fight or Flight Experiences are moments of physical and or emotional charge, danger, or trauma. Time seems to slow, to stretch forever, as the brain races to take in enough information to decide if it should fight or flee. 

Novel Experiences are any new (and important) events in our lives. The brain remembers these events because they are new, important, and might teach us something about how to emotionally or literally survive this world. 

Non-novel Experiences are the opposite of novel experiences; they are the mundane moments in our lives that the brain “forgets” because this information is a repetition of what was learned yesterday and the day before and the day before. 

Speed of Scene examines the amount of time it takes a reader to read a scene versus the amount of time the actual event comprised. Five speeds of scene exist. From fastest to slowest they are Gaps, Summary, Scene, Dilation, and Internal Scene. 

Gaps are the fastest movement of time. Gaps, as their name implies, leave out most or all details of an event. Gaps skip over non-novel moments where we forget things because they are unimportant. Drug and alcohol-affected moments also often contain gaps. 

Summary, much like gaps, deals with non-novel moments. When using summary, we distill an event down to just important details. 

Scene matches the actual time of the event. This is closest to the real time of an event. Here the time it takes to read a narration closely matches the actual time of the event. Scenes often come from all the times when our perception is affected—fight or flight, novel, and altered experiences. 

Dilation occurs when the reading of a moment stretches longer than the actual event. Dilation is slower—because of the level of detail added—than real life and often mirrors fight or flight, novel, and altered experiences.

Internal Scene is when a writer stops action and moves from the real world into thought. Because the writer is no longer experiencing the outer world, there is no perception of time passing, only introspection, speculation, and reflection. 

Incident Frequency is the number of times a moment occurs in the real world in comparison to the number of times it occurs on the page. Three categories exist: the normative frequency, the iterative frequency, and the repetitive frequency.

Normative Frequency is when the number of occurrences of a real event match the number of times the event is shown on the page. 

Iterative Frequency is when the number of occurrences on the page is fewer than the number of occurrences in the real world. The iterative is best used to dispense with non-novel experiences. 

Repetitive Frequency is when the number of occurrences on the page exceed the number of occurrences in the real world. Repetitive is best used to highlight fight or flight and novel experiences and, at times, altered state experiences. Writers use repetitive frequency to highlight how an issue is so powerful we keep returning to it.