Story Scene Writing

Scenes are the basic building blocks of the plot. They are a place, impression, unit of a story structure and represent an incident. Scene structure is the key to unlocking the building blocks of your story to entice the readers to want to keep reading. The characters goals cause conflict until the ongoing goals are reached to end the story by conflict resolution.

The scene is the action which reveals the goal, conflict and disaster. The sequel is the reaction, dilemma and decision which allows characters to process events of the scene and figure out their next move. The character reacts, then decides what he’s going to do next to keep things going.

Keep focused on your scene’s purpose and drive:
Where does the scene take place? Make it easy for the reader to visualize the place.

When does the scene happen? Is it in chronological sequence with preceding events?

Who is in the scene? Do you need more or fewer characters?
What happens in the scene?

Why do the characters behave as they do in this scene? These questions are all related to cause and effect.

When writing an opening scene, think about the purpose of the scene, how long you want it to be and the kind of mood you want to convey to the reader.

The hook is important in a novel. Write every scene to have a hook of its own. Good story openings make us want more information.

Examples of scene openers:
Starting a scene with action.
Starting scenes with summary of previous scenes.
Beginning by revealing a character’s thoughts.
Starting with setting.
Beginning with dialogue.

Additional information:

Marcia Casar Friedman

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