The Building Blocks of Story: Scenes


Staci Troilo shares the importance of building scenes in your novels on the Story Empire #blog.

Story Empire

Ciao, SEers. Last time, we discussed Dwight Swain’s concepts of scenes and sequels. (If you missed that post, you can find it here.) Remember, a chapter’s scenes can be one of two things, a scene or a sequel. Today, we’re going to go deeper into the concept of scenes.

What are scenes?

Scenes are the “proactive” units of a story. They introduce and advance goals, conflicts, and disasters. Scenes should have all three items before advancing to the following sequel. Why must they include all three? Because all three are necessary for tension. And without tension, there’s no reason for a reader to turn the page.

Goals:

A goal is simply what your POV character desires. It could be:

  • an object (the Holy Grail)
  • a position (POTUS)
  • a state of being (overcome an injury)
  • a change in status (going from captive to freedom)

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