The Function of a Scene: To Advance the Plot

NOTE: GOOD NEWS!  Reader of this blog and successful blogger in her own right, author Sandy Weiers has just published a children’s book entitled Joey Is Thankful. Congratulations, Sandy!  For details about Sandy’s new book, please click here.

_________________________________

So far, we’ve discussed one function of a good scene: to reveal character. Today, we’ll talk about a second function of a good scene: to advance the plot. 

A scene is one of several units that comprise your story. At the same time, a scene is a sort of mini-story in itself.  In terms of your overall story, each scene must contribute to moving your story toward its ultimate resolution. If a scene does not make this contribution, then it has no place in your story, no matter how well-written the scene is. 

When writing a scene, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this scene help move my story toward its ultimate resolution?
  • Does this scene contain conflict, and does the conflict relate to the overall plot?
  • Have I given my character a goal for this particular scene?
  • Is my scene related to the scene that comes before it and the scene that comes after it?
  • Does my scene have a beginning, a middle, and an end?

If you build a good scene, you will be well on your way to building a good story.  

Happy Scene-Building! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “The Function of a Scene: To Advance the Plot

  1. Congrats, Sandy!!

    What leapt out at me was the fourth point – is my scene related to the scene that comes before it and the scene that comes after it?

    I make sure it does, even when I’m switching POV, because I think it adds to the tension and interest of the story.

    February 1, 2011 at 10:26 AM