Each event in a story takes place within a scene, showing the reader the action as it happens.
Short stories typically consist of only one or two scenes, while novels contain many. They vary in length, with some only a few paragraphs long and others covering many pages. However, most scenes follow a pattern similar to the typical story arc, beginning with a hook, building conflict or tension in the middle, and ending with a change in time/place, or a suspenseful moment (cliffhanger).
Each scene should serve a purpose in the story. It might:
- introduce or develop a conflict, theme, or character
- establish the setting (time period or place)
- create atmosphere (romantic, suspenseful, etc.)
- provide information that moves the plot forward
An author may use exposition to summarize what’s going on rather than including scenes to show all of the action as it happens. This provides a transition between scenes, and helps adjust the pacing of the story.
How do you determine if a scene is necessary? Do you like scenes that end on cliffhangers?
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My daughter turned 21 last month. She’s a full-time college student, works 2 jobs, and is moving into her own apartment this weekend. One of her brothers is an honors student working as an intern on a government-funded study with one of his college professors. Her other brother has been working part-time while trying to get a computer-related business started.
Each of my children is awesome. Each is also different, with ideas and goals of their own. Looking at them now, I’m amazed by how quickly time has flown. They’ve grown from babies dependent upon me for just about everything, to young adults. I’m extremely proud of them.
Looking at my own life, I’ve grown, too. I’m at the stage where statistically speaking there are more years behind me than ahead of me. I’ve changed in many ways, hopefully for the better. Yet some of my ideas, dreams, and goals are still the same ones I had as a child. As I approach my own birthday this month, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is that I’ve achieved and what I still hope to accomplish.
Though there are several things I still want to do, the one that’s relevant to this blog’s theme is this: I want to write a novel that brings warmth and hope to another person’s heart.
I’m working toward that goal slowly, but surely. It’s been sidetracked this spring due to family commitments, but I’m getting back to it today. I’m also trying to get back to blogging regularly, but may still be a bit sporadic with my posts until my kids get into their summer routine (and the laundry gets caught up!)
Please be patient with me as I get it all together. And to those of you who’ve asked me questions I haven’t answered yet, I apologize, and will respond as quickly as I can gather some useful resources for you.
What are your goals? Are you making progress toward them? What is holding you back from achieving what you hope/plan to do?
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