Tag Archives: fiction scene writing

How to get your Scenes Going Right–from the Start

Photo courtesy of boboroshi @Flickr.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you find it hard to remember everything you want to include in a scene?  

I do. That’s why I put together my own template that I can refer to when writing.

Last January, I posted 33 key questions to ask about your scenes. Here’s the link:  http://keystowriting.com/are-you-asking-enough-questions-about-your-scenes/

Here is a supplement to that post.  It’s a worksheet you can fill out to make your scenes dynamic and exciting…

THE SCENE TEMPLATE

SCENE Notes (things you want to be sure to remember while writing)

SCENE BLANKS TO FILL IN…

(Remember: Not as short as possible but as dramatic as possible—but no wasted words.)

POINT OF VIEW character:

PLACE IN STORY STRUCTURE (within or at plot point):

TYPE OF SCENE: Drama and Reaction/­Brief Sequel, Action, Beginning, Ending

Indicate time, place and situation for the reader:

Key piece of info this scene provides for the reader:

What are the stakes?

How will you make them clear?

Who and What will the reader root for?

MISSION of this scene/its purpose/the scene question—How does this scene further the story?

CHARACTERS IN THE SCENE AND WHERE THEY ARE AT IN EACH (Main character’s) Arc…

 Main character:

ARC:

What does this character want?

What are the obstacles:

How is each revealed?

What is each feeling? Emotion?

Key “show” expressions, body language, dialogue?

OTHER CHARACTERS inthe  scene:

PLANTS:

Any SURPRISES/TWISTS?

Where is the point of maximum INTENSITY in the scene?

SUSPENSE ELEMENTS:

THEME(S) this scene expresses:

Add any LAST MINUTE REMINDERS:

 AND REMEMBER:

Stimulus and response! (Show, specify or strongly imply what causes each character’s important reactions.)

 WRITE IT MOMENT BY MOMENT—DON’T SUMMARIZE.

Avoid redundancy or unnecessary descriptions of setting, place, character appearance, or other issues of ambiance?

 Remember: A scene is like a short-story, so outline it…

SCENE OUTLINE

BEGINNING (at latest moment, w/o skipping key info or dramatic potential):

Beginning attention grabber?

Does your scene open with something clever, poignant, surprising, or intrinsically interesting?):

 MIDDLE (What gets worse?):

END:

Logical twist or Disaster at the end?

What gets resolved?

What doesn’t get resolved?

And what is the hook and the transition to next scene?).

What is the level of anticipation during the scene, as paid off by the moment when the morsel of key story info is revealed?

Or, if it’s a deliberate surprise, how have you set up the reader to make that moment as jarring as possible?