Such a great outline for checking your scenes, I had to share! Thank you for the advice, Amy.
Amy Walters is an author and blogger who often blogs about writing techniques and tips. It would definitely be worth your time to jump over and check out what she has to say on the topic of fiction writing.
Regarding this particular post, I think the checklist she provides for examining scenes is very helpful, particularly for those odd, tricky scenes that are hard to parse. Most of the points in the list are very useful, so it’s hard to isolate a few to focus on. Certainly POV is a big issue for scenes. Your POV should not be shifting in scene without a very, very good reason. It’s a common, unintentional mistake in the early drafts of new writers. Also, the POV should also be clear from the beginning of the scene. Who is experiencing this scene and what does that mean for the information the readers receive?
If I were to choose one point from the list as the best or most important (which I shouldn’t, as they are all useful, but I am trying to add my two bits here), then I would say “What do I want the reader to feel by the end of this scene?” is the critical question to ask when developing and evaluating a scene. This is your end goal, the target you want to hit with your prose. This goal is the idea of how the scene fits into the larger work, its purpose. The first way to evaluate your scene is to ask if you’ve met that goal.
But I don’t think you should only focus on that point and ignore the rest. I cannot reiterate enough that there are a lot of great points in the checklist.
If you’d like to know how to evaluate a scene, jump on over to Amy’s blog and see what she has to say.
Hello, lovely people, I hope you are well? You are? Great! I know I am, it’s Friday after all! The last few days I have been outlining my scenes so that I am ready for Camp NaNoWriMo in July.
I’m reading an amazing book by CS Lakin called The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction which I have found invaluable. Lakin gives a scene checklist which I recommend you get your hands on.
I have used this to ask myself set questions per scene, and they are helping me so much I thought I would share them with you. Let me know what you think!
What is the action or revelation that is the high impact crux of this scene?
What new information will this scene tell the reader?
What is the purpose of the scene?
What do I want the reader to know by reading this scene?
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