How To Create a GOOD Scene

Reality Coaching for Writers Scene Progression

State the goal of your Lead at the beginning of each scene. What does she want? What does he need? How does he plan to acquire the thing he wants? What will she give up for the thing she wants? This “want” is your Lead’s stake in the ground.

* Promise pain through foreshadowing (tears, heartache, physical discomfort)

* Deliver pain through action (show your Lead suffering)

* Progress from goal to conflict, disaster, character development (how does she grow?)

* Suspense is anticipation, so announce the reward for your Lead early in the scene

* Restate your Lead’s goal as necessary (halfway through)

* Never let your Lead relax for too long

* Increase the risk of failure (towards the end of the scene add-to the penalties for failure)

* Tension comes from unresolved conflict so leave your character’s world messy

* Promise the payoff for that scene, then delay the payoff until later in the story.

* Deliver a payoff, but not the thing your Lead sought

Excerpted from A Novel Idea.

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