Writing Scintillating Scenes––Part I

I read somewhere that scenes are the “guts” of your novel. They are powerful and intense, they engage readers and help them to keep on reading. What is a scene? It is the most vivid and immediate part of the story, emotionally involved, their minds are filled with images and memories of actions. Click to Tweet #amwriting #scintillatingscenes

Simply put, a scene is action! Scenes are text passages, including narrative, meant to focus on an event in the story, sometimes slowing it down, so that the reader is “in the moment.” The readers join in the scene along with the characters in action.

Basics of Scenes

Each scene you write should have four basic elements. Let’s look at them.

  1. Every scene, there should be an event and emotion. In a scene characters do things and feel things. Also in a scene, characters act and react.
  2. Every scene should have a function. Does it introduce a new character or plot element? Is something revealed about a character to make the reader feel a deeper attachment to the protagonist? Does this scene set up a situation that will be important later? Is it really a scene, or is it merely summary?
  3. Every scene has a structure. Beginning, middle, and end. Almost like a mini-story within a story. We know that the overall story must begin, have a middle, and come to an end. But each scene needs this structure as well. Within this framework, the beginnings and endings can be abrupt, elaborate, succinct, languid, oblique, or plain.
  4. Every scene has a pulse. A heartbeat, if you will, or a drum beat. There must be some vibrancy that makes the text come alive and be important for the reader to read. The scene has energy when there is a pulse or beat driving it. Pulse, or beat, is emotional––an attitude, or stating a desire or need. Action may wax and wane, but the pulse is steady, waiting for a trigger to escalate it.

Exercises:

  • Intersected scenes: reflect on something you’ve seen that made you curious about what you didn’t see. What was the “rest of the story?” What happened next?
  • Reflect on a memory of an event in your life. Tell what happened in there short sentences, a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Take one sentence and make a paragraph of it, taking you directly into the time, place, people, and feelings. Moment-by-moment, share what happened. You have entered the scene. What is the pulse?

Think about movies or shows or even books you’ve read where a scene was so powerful, you still remember it. Scenes are where the story happens. The action, the feelings, the reflection (the sequel) should all be there. Click to Tweet #amwriting #scintillatingscenes

3 Comments on “Writing Scintillating Scenes––Part I”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Mickey Mindset

Celebrating the Art of Disney Storytelling

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

Joseph E Bird

Let's talk about reading, writing and the arts.

For a purpose

The blog site of Rick Wade

devotions4misfits

Where it is a good thing to be an outcast.

Cracked-Pot

We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; let your light shine through your cracked pot. Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in and comes out.

loon watchman

stark raving sane.

Diann Mills

Expect An Adventure

Kelly F Barr

"A story without love is empty." -- Kelly F. Barr

Beautiful Life with Cancer

Discovering the Gift

Vonj Production

Bringing you love through spirit!

A christian dad blog

Just a dad following God's path

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

bottledworder

easy reading is damn hard writing

Funny Dog Moments

Funny Tales of Cinnamon the Cute Guard Dog

Life Through the Big Screen

A podcast where I invite guests from all walks of life to discuss their favorite movies, and we use that film as a starting point to talk about deeper issues such as faith, politics, and social issues.

%d bloggers like this: