Scene-building is one of the most important skills you can have as a writer, and yet it’s so rarely discussed. It can be easy to assume a scene is just about describing what characters are doing from one moment to the next, but that can lead to clumsy or confusing structure, or scenes which are so brief as to add nothing to the story.
Don’t underestimate the importance of scene structure. It can make or break the flow of your story. Each scene should flow naturally into the next and urge the reader to keep reading. Take a look at these articles I’ve found on the subject:
1: The 5 Essential Components of Scene Structure – We’ll start off with the most important core elements of scene structure. You can’t treat scenes as an aimless series of events; you need to understand how they’re put together and why this is important.
2: 10 Ways to Launch Strong Scenes – Openings are vital to a novel. Opening lines, opening paragraphs, opening chapters. Don’t let your scene down by giving it a weak start. Instead, kick it off strong.
3: How to Structure Scenes in Your Story – This great article is actually a complete series on scene structure from K.M. Weiland. If you only use one link from this week’s post, use this one.
4: Proactive and Reactive Scenes – Take a look at things from different perspectives. Not every scene is equal. How your character is behaving, whether taking the lead or reacting to events, will heavily influence how your scene should progress.
5: 21 Writing Prompts for Setting a Scene in Your Novel – To finish us up, here’s a list of useful writing prompts to help kickstart your work as you put your scene together.
Well that’s it for this week. Good luck!
(c) Paul Anthony Shortt