February Writer’s Toolbox – Scenes

So far our group has discussed ‘Voice’ and ‘Style’. Today we discussed ‘Scenes’.

What is a scene?

If words are the building blocks of sentences and paragraphs, then the scene is the brick that builds the entire story. It consists of one setting – time and place. It has only character’s Point of View (POV) and one event. It has a beginning, a middle and an end.

The POV character should have a clear goal. There should be some form of conflict – even if only a trivial decision. When the conflict is overcome this may lead to either disaster, and increased conflict and tension in future scenes, or a decision, possibly leading to a new goal in another scene.
Something should happen – the event.

The scene must have purpose; it should move an element of the story forward – whether character arc, plot arc or theme arc. This could be a physical change, an emotional change for a character or a change in understanding on the part of the reader.
The most important thing is something must change.

Scene Basics:

  • contain only one character’s POV
  • one event
  • one setting – time, place
  • move an element of the story forward – either character arc, plot arc or theme arc
  • something changes

by Karen J Carlisle

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