Scene Construction

How to Build a Scene That Can't be Cut

A good writer knows that we dont' keep certain paragraphs, sentences, plot turns or character revelations because the writing is beautiful or clever. (Although they ARE important). A good writer knows that each line, each element of the scene belongs on the page because it is vital in moving the story along. Their purpose is to move the plot along.

Sounds so easy doesn't it when you see it staring at you from the page. I'm here to testify it's not. However, I've been learning what's needed to construct a scene, and I've decided to share.

  • Advance the Story - if your scene doesn't drive the story forward - it's dead weight. If it can be cut... then it should be cut
  • Increase Dramatic Tension - the stakes should rise with each and every scene
  • Reveal Character - show us something new about your character(s): a new dimension or facet of their personality: a quirk/flaw or an aching need. Make it relevant to the story.
  • Make the Reader Want to Read the Next Scene - let me say that again.... MAKE THE READER WANT TO READ THE NEXT SCENE. This is the only really important function. If you write a great scene, the reader will want more of your mojo and will continue to turn the pages. This is our life-blood

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