How to Write Strong, Involving Scenes

Guess what? All the things that work in writing prose fiction work just as well – maybe even better – in teleplays and screenplays. So it behooves us all to know the following truths that should be self-evident but…you know…:


by Rita Karnopp

I think of my novel as the intricate weaving of a double hoop dream catcher (this is one I’ve made).  The web is unified and patterned until it approaches a bead or fetish and it has to find a way to conquer it and move onto the next obstacle (as scenes in your book).  It has a beginning, middle, and an end.  No two dream catchers are alike.

Let’s clarify beginning, since I always start a story in the middle of action.  Some might think the beginning of a dream catcher is the top, while others say the bottom, and again others believe it begins in the middle – unwinding like one’s life. Ultimately the writer gets to choose.

Each scene should catapult your reader into the next scene with questions, excitement, emotions, and even fears. Before starting the next scene ask yourself a couple of important questions:

  1. Are my characters driving the plot?
  2. Is my reader seeing the bigger picture and what was he/she doing at the end of the previous scene?
  3. What is he doing now?
  4. What evidence or facts need to be exposed, revealed, or uncovered in this scene?

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