Scenes are the essential components of a novel. A string of analogous and consequential scenes creates a chapter, and a string of cause and effect related chapters creates a novel or a short story. Scenes are used to show the conflict that moves the story forward, and keep the readers interested, making them turn page after page until they reach the end. And then want more. Below, there are a few tips to help you structure unforgettable scenes, which in turn, will make your novel unforgettable.
1. Create the setup
Every scene needs not only to be intense and memorable, but to also move the plot forward. Therefore, every scene needs a proper setup. The best way to achieve this is to present the protagonist, make readers sympathize with him/her, and give the individual a goal. This comes before the character does something to achieve the said goal, yet shows a little bit of the reason why the character has that goal. However, many authors decide to start the scene with descriptions, especially the weather. Weather is not intense, and description can outright bore the reader. Avoid those, unless you want to use them to create a more daunting atmosphere.
2. Begin the action
The action is what essentially begins to increase the intensity of the scene. It starts from the moment a character takes action in order to achieve his/her goal. To add intensity, the action that the individual has to take needs to be out of the ordinary, and represent something that he/she doesn’t do in his/her daily life. May be a character has to convince another character to give him/her crucial information; or simply wear different clothes. Anything can work – as long as it provides the necessary inner conflict within the protagonist.
3. Add a conflict
Nobody likes it when a character in a book gets everything he/she wants easily, especially if it’s something important and life-changing. Sure, we want the person to succeed, but we also have an inherent need to see the character suffer a little, or work for the goal. That way, the individual deserves it. And it’s what makes novels so interesting. This is the point when even the easiest task is difficult to perform. The other characters involved in the scene should also be less cooperative and give the protagonist additional tension with their behavior. Which leads us to the next part, which is the protagonist’s reaction to all that.
4. Show the reaction
The moment when the protagonist takes action, which is a direct result from the conflict, is the reaction moment in the scene, and the beginning of the resolution of the previous conflict. Just as in the action part of the scene, the protagonist needs to do something that he/she wouldn’t normally do, because it’s still too early in the scene to release the tension. And since the resolution will make the tension drop between the characters, making the protagonist do something at the very least, which is uncomfortable, will ensure there is enough inner conflict to keep the reader’s interest.
5. The exit
The exit is the most important part of a scene. Create a mesmerizing exit of the scene and you’ve ensured the reader will never forget it. Avoid the boring endings like characters leaving the room, or driving away, and saying good-bye. Some interesting ways to end a scene are: an unexpected reveal of a secret, making a major decision, or getting information that completely changes the story. If you think your scene ends dully, then try erasing the last few paragraphs. It probably doesn’t seem like the most logical choice, but you will probably find they weren’t necessary anyway. Cutting a very intense scene short, before it became dull, will create interest in the reader into what comes next, and will ensure the tension hasn’t completely left the story, but has flowed into the next scene.
Image credit: spykster on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Georgina Roy wants to live in a world filled with magic.
As a 22-year-old art student, she’s moonlighting as a writer and is content to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with magical creatures and amazing new worlds. When she is not at school, or scribbling away in a notebook, you can usually find her curled up, reading a good urban fantasy novel, or writing on her laptop, trying to create her own.