Nancy's Books

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Creating scenes

A scene is a piece of action, a unit of drama. Novels and chapter books consist of a series of scenes with pieces of narrative connecting them. They are the building blocks of a story.

As you write scenes for your manuscript, keep in mind that each needs a beginning, middle, and end and should reveal information about the character or plot. Scenes often begin and end with chapters. Mystery writer often end scene and chapters with a cliffhanger. Many writers end a scene when there is a major shift in the action.
With each new scene consider these questions:
Where are the characters in the plot?
What information should I reveal?
The answer to these questions will vary with every writer and story.
Time and setting are essential. The “when” and “where” are usually established in the beginning of the story and only need to be implied in following scenes.
Allow the character to act first and think later. Jesse jumped from the high cliff. Falling faster and faster, he promised himself he would never take another dare. This type of opening for a novel is effective because it hooks the reader immediately.

Next week, I'll discuss other ways to develop scenes.
September through May, I will include Calls for Submissions for Young Writers.
Calls for Submissions for Young Writers:
Teen Essay Contest. Gilda's Club of Louisville seeks entries for 4th Annual Write Stuff Teen Essay, Poetry and Visual Art Contest.  Teens who are or have been impacted by cancer are invited to participate through submissions of essays, poems, two-dimensional artwork and videos.  Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three participants in each of six categories - essays written by middle school students connected to cancer, essays written by high school students connected to cancer, essays written by survivors, poetry, artwork and video. Youth in grades 6 through 12 who live in Kentucky or Southern Indiana may enter. Their original writing, artwork or video can be about their own cancer diagnosis or that of a family member or friend.   All entries are due no later than midnight EST, Friday, October 2.
Calls for Submissions for Adult Writers:
The online journal, Waypoints, is open for submissions of journey-themed poetry, fiction, and art until October 1. Published work will be eligible for the Editor’s Choice Award of $50.  The publication seeks writing and artwork that embodies a sense of what you’ve encountered on your journey--places you've been, people you’ve met, and obstacles you’ve traversed.
Submission guidelines at

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