How to Write an Airport Scene – WRITE THAT SCENE

How to Write an Airport Scene

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Part One

  1. For an airport scene you should describe more about what’s going on around the character as opposed to what they’re thinking. It isn’t until the character boards the plane when focusing on the character’s feelings and thoughts is imperative.

    » A. Here are the basics that happen at an airport.  If you don’t want this scene to be long or drawn out you can follow this letter. If the airport scene is very important to the overall plot then skip to the next letter.

I.      At the airport you get your ticket and check your bag(s).
 

II.     Then you go to either international or national security and take off your shoes (sometimes socks), put your carry-on bag in a grey bin and take out any electronics like a laptop or cellphone. The same goes for any liquids you may have. You might have to pour it out.
 

III.     You will have to take off watches, jewelry and whatever else you’re wearing before going through the metal detector. Simultaneously your possessions will go through the x-ray machine.  When the scan is complete, you put your shoes back on, get your belongings, and go to the gate of your plane.
 

IV.    You stand in line until your flight is called. Then you have the attendant scan your ticket and you board the plane.
 

Example 1:   (No Example Added- but you can add one for your scene)
 

Write a(n): Marriage Proposal Scene      Funeral Scene     Sword Fight Scene

 

    »B.Quickly describe how the airport looks then identify the main purpose of the airport scene.

I.        Is the character going to meet anyone significant there? It could be a long lost loved one or a mate they’re meeting for the first time.
 

 
II.       Are they coming or going? How long? Both will draw out different feelings for the character. If a character is coming from a different place (getting off the plane) either to live or visit, then they may feel nervous or a little afraid.

 

III.        If they are going somewhere (boarding the plane) they might feel anxious and/or homesick.

 
Example 2:  

I arrived to the airport, sweating and panicking; I almost was late again. My wife had visited her sick mother all the way in New York. This was most likely the last time she’ll see her alive. Doctors say by this time next month the woman is going to die.

As the people pushed me out of there way as they passed, wondering why I was standing in the middle of the airport lobby, I kneel to the floor and held my head in my hands… and cried. Thinking about my wife losing another person she loved felt dreadful to me. Her once happy, care-free heart is now filled with pain and misery. Just last year she had a miscarriage and two years before that her father died. Time wasn’t so kind to her.

     
    Write a(n): Kidnap Scene      Break Up Scene     Fighting Scene

     

    »C.What sticks out the most?  What is memorable? Is there anything unusual that happens at the airport?

I.         Maybe you can have a soldier coming home from war and people clap as he/she walks by.

 

II.        How about a couple that is arguing about something petty.  Maybe one of them cheated on the other. You can switch it up and have a couple getting engaged.

 

III.         Or, you can make it scary and have someone who is a threat get caught and arrested. Maybe they had a bomb or a knife and was going to hijack the same plane your character is going on.

Suggest YOUR Scene Idea

 

Example 3:  

 “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to move,” a security guard said, tapping me on the shoulder.

I wiped the stray tears from my eyes and stood on my own two feet. “Sorry about that.”

“No need to apologize. Just tell me what plane you’re headed on.”

“I’m actually waiting for my wife. Plane A”

The officer took a step back and swallowed the lump in his throat. “Plane A has been hijacked.”

I shook my head in doubt. “Ha-ha. Don’t think I take you seriously.”

He placed a hand on my shoulder and shot me a serious look. “Plane A landed in Wisconsin two hours ago. Everyone on board is a hostage.”

“What!” I shouted, wrapping my hands around the guard’s neck and nearly strangling him. He tried to calm me. “Shhhh,” he said, “no one knows about the hijacks yet. You need to be quiet.”

Breathing heavily, I paced back and forth, trying to figure out if I was dreaming or really awake. The guard then received a message over his walkie. I wanted to listen in, to hear what was being said.

“Sir,” he began, “By any chance was your wife pregnant?”

“I don’t know… no. Why?”

“One of the hostages was let free. She’s six weeks pregnant, it could be your wife.”

**

Part Two

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  1. Adding conflict or some kind of dilemma will really help this scene out.

    »A.What if the character left an item at home or what if they left it on the plane and has to go back to get it?

     
    I. Make that item important. It can be anywhere from a wallet full of money to the only picture of a dead friend that they had.

     

     

    II. What happens when this situation is reverse and the character finds something of importance to someone else at the airport and tries to return it? What happen if they don’t return it? This dilemma can lead into a whole new chapter of your book. The character may just find the love of their life in the process.


 
Example 4:   (No Example Added- but you can add one for your scene)

     

    »B.Sometimes at airports, things don’t goes as planned. Luggage can get lost, there can be a delay in plane or canceled trips.

    I. Are things going well for your character? Why or why not? If this scene is important, then there needs to be conflict, especially if it’s going to take up more than two pages of your book.

     

     

    II. Allow good to come along with the bad. A character can manipulate the situation around them if they want. For example, they can buy another ticket to another location, or they can switch seats at the last second. Our decisions can shape how are future is turned out. So if the audience, a.k.a your readers, are aware that something bad is going to happen (let’s say the plane will crash) but your character doesn’t, it would be interesting to see them somehow turn up late to the airport because of some idiot taxi driver who didn’t pick him/her up on time. You see, at first it sounds like a bad thing that they missed their flight, but it ends up turning out to be good. So remember, allow the good to come along with the bad or vice versa.

     

     

    III. Please have a reason or motive if you decide to do the above. Maybe now the character is going do something with their life, or they took it as a sign to not go on the trip. Let there be a consequence. Just like in real life show the alternative to the choice. If the character went on the plane they could have died. Let that be known and show it in your character’s expressions. They may fall on the ground at the airport, thanking the heavens that he/she missed the flight. Or, the character may never go on a plane again, and instead travel by trains or boats.

     

    Suggest YOUR Scene Idea

Example 5:  

I roamed through my cellphone to see if she called. No texts messages, no calls, no voice messages, nothing. I called her in hopes that she’ll answer.

“NO!” the officer yelled, pushing the phone out of my hand.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” I shouted as I bent down to pick up my phone.

“If you call her, and she answers, the captors will want something from you. Whether it’s money, jewelry or whatever. They will taunt you for your wife’s life.”

“And. I’ll do whatever it takes to get her back. What if she is the one that was let go?”

“You don’t know for sure. Worst case scenario, what if you don’t have what they want?”

I shrugged my shoulders.

The police officer shook his head. “I’ve seen this all too many times before back in my country.”

I arched my eyebrow. “What are you getting at?” I asked, paranoid.

“If you call and the captors answer instead, they will ask for something in return of your wife’s life. And, if you don’t have what they want, they will kill her. Even if you did have what they want, and you go to Wisconsin to take it to them, they will kill the both of you at once. ” He paused and shivered. “Is that what you want. Do you want to die…?

It sounded like the security guard experienced this personally. His pain was written all over his tired eyes and wrinkled face. One thing was for sure, I was going to listen to him. This man definitely knew what he was talking about.

Fine,” I said reluctantly, and I put the phone away.

“Consider you wife lucky, anyway.”

I glared at him. “What do you mean by that, huh?”

“I just received a message that another plane, plane B has been hijacked, however this time the captors crashed it. Everyone inside died.” 

**

Part Three

  1. Again, are they going on the plane or coming off of it?

    »A.If they are coming off of the plane, then focus on the feelings and emotions the character will have when they take their first steps on solid ground.

    I. Who is waiting for their arrival? Friends? Family? Make it worthwhile.

     

     

    II. Do they have a smile on their face or are they sad. This is a great time to give background on why they are going/has gone on this trip… if you haven’t already.

     

     

    III. Do they have a souvenir with them? Do they have more bags or fewer bags since the first time?

     

     

    IV. Are they a changed person because of the circumstances they’ve face on the plane or trip? If they were bitter before are they now energetic and friendly? If so, why? If they were loud and obnoxious before, are they still that way or did something change. State what made them change or keep it a mystery until the end of your book.

     

Example 6: 

An hour passed. My brain was on fire. I was just about to cry bloody murder when the security guard came walking back over to me with a smile on his face. I wanted to slap it off of him. How could he be so jolly at a time like this?

“Sir, is your wife’s name Emily by any chance.”

I nodded. “Yes, yes, Emily Michael, why?” I shook him, begging him to spit out the words.

“She’s alive, man. She’s alive. They released her.” The guard lifted me in the air and twirled me around. I felt like soaking up the moment with him but I had to go see me wife.

“Where is she?” I asked anxiously.

“She’s checking out. She’ll be out in five minutes. But prepare yourself, there are lots of reporters and police that want to talk to her.

I would never forget that five minute wait. It felt like forever.

 

      But then, there she was, walking out of the doors and to freedom. News reporters, police and just plain curious people, surrounded her. She could only make it three steps before she was stopped. The security guard, that has now became my close friend, went over to help her. He guided her through the mob and over to me. Her smile. That smile of hers I missed so much. That smile I thought about repeatedly, hoping, wishing, praying that I would see it again. And there it was. Flawless. Beautiful. Perfect. She held her purse tight in her left hand and the tears had already dried from her face. Her luggage and belongings was gone, but that didn’t matter. Nothing else did but her. I ran over to hug her, twirled her in the air, and kissed her like the first time we fell in love ten years ago.

“Emily,” I said, “I love you and you’re never leaving my side again.”

“Oh Eric,” she said, tears beginning to surface in her eyes, “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you I was six weeks pregnant.”

“Emily,” I said, lowering her to the ground. “Don’t you dare apologize for that. What matters is that you’re alive. Don’t you see?  We get a second chance at life together. Wherever you go, I go. No questions asked.”

Emily nodded and hugged me once again. All around us camera’s flashed, people cheered and, yet somehow, it seemed as if we were the only two people in the middle of that airport lobby.

     

    »B.If they are just getting on the plane, now is the time to really describe the emotions of the character.

    I. Are they nervous or afraid in anyway? Are they excited, if so why. If you haven’t already, now is the time to give background about the trip.

     

     

    II. A character can mysteriously get a seat next to a person they already know. And that person just happens to be their ex… or it can be a random hot guy/girl.

     

     

    III.Do they close their eyes, breath heavily, hold their hands together, pray, etc. If they are used to going on flights, maybe they help someone else on the flight calm down.

     

Example 7:   (No Example Added- but you can add one for your scene)

     

    »C.Does anything significant happen on the plane? Anything dangerous or amazing?

    I. If you plan to write about a hijacking, make sure it’s thorough.  The hijackers can’t use butter knifes. And since airplane security has heightened then they would have to have a clever way of sneaking bombs and whatnot on the plane. Also note whether or not the character is taken as a hostage themselves (hijackers focus on them specifically).

     

     

    II. What happens on a plane doesn’t have to be scary in order for it to be interesting. The character can easily find true love and that would be interesting. Maybe the character has a long inner monologue about their life’s problems.

     

     

    III. Focus on what problems happen on the plane, as well as what goes right. Are there babies crying, people arguing, kicking the back of chairs, snoring, or people who have bad odor? Likewise, your character can be moved up to first class, they can find a ten dollar bill in the seat cushion, or they can sit by someone who is remarkable and will change their life for the good. Just like another scene, an airport scene is flexible.

 

Example 8: 

We finally left the airport four hours later. On the way to the house I asked Emily several questions that popped into my mind.

“So how did they do it?”

“The pilot was in on it apparently.” She paused and looked out the window. “They shot two people in front of me, Eric. And they laughed. They weren’t human.” Her gaze returned to mine. “They were monsters.”

“You were next?”

She nodded. “Yes. But I begged him. I told him I was pregnant and I told him how I had a miscarriage in the past. He still wanted to kill me.”

“What happened? What made him stop?”

Emily held herself before continuing, “This man, he… he sacrificed himself for me. He said ‘If you let her go, you can kill me.’  And so they did. They let me go, threw me out of the plane and onto the ground in the cold. I was rescued twenty minutes later. I-I…” Emily lowered her head. “I heard the gunshot go off, Eric. I heard the man die!” She wailed, screaming, hitting the car window with her head as if she couldn’t handle the thought.

We finally left the airport four hours later. On the way to the house I asked Emily several questions that popped into my mind.

“So how did they do it?”

“The pilot was in on it apparently.” She paused and looked out the window. “They shot two people in front of me, Eric. And they laughed. They weren’t human.” Her gaze returned to mine. “They were monsters.”

“You were next?”

She nodded. “Yes. But I begged him. I told him I was pregnant and I told him how I had a miscarriage in the past. He still wanted to kill me.”

“What happened. What made him stop.”

Emily held herself before continuing, “This man, he… he sacrificed himself for me. He said ‘If you let her go, you can kill me.’  And so they did. They let me go, threw me out of the plane and onto the ground in the cold. I was rescued twenty minutes later. I-I…” Emily lowered her head. “I heard the gunshot go off, Eric. I heard the man die!” She wailed, screaming, hitting the car window with her head as if she couldn’t handle the thought.

“Enough Emily!” I shouted, slamming on the brakes and stopping the car. “All this negative emotion is not good for the baby. Do you hear me?”

Emily looked at me wide-eyed and silent, at first. Then she narrowed her eyes. “Don’t you get it?” she said, “The baby’s not yours.”

“Wait, what?”

“Yes. The man that sacrificed himself was my boyfriend. I didn’t really go to see my sick mom you fool. She died three months ago. Idiot. Me and Tim went on a long needed vacation. I was planning on leaving you for him, but it looks like that’s not going to happen.”

“You bit—”

I was close to slapping her but she grabbed my hand and shook her head.

“I’m going to leave you.”

“Ah-ah, I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Could you imagine if you left a pregnant woman who was just hijacked? No one would like you. I’m already all over the news. And guess what, there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“Shit.”

“That’s right, nothing.”

Thinking quick on my toes, I stepped on the gas pedal and, during a red light, I zoomed the car right into a busy intersection. A huge van crashed right into us. Our car went spinning, whirling, until finally… it had ended. No more troubles. No more problems…….

**



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