Writing Powerful Scenes, Part 2: Beginning with Character

Historically, a “scene” was a set on a play. It consisted of the setting in which a dramatic exchange took place. It’s not a coincidence that “scene” and “seen” sound exactly alike. But as novelists, we don’t necessarily have the same kinds of “scenes” that occur in a play. A scene could, for example, consist […]

How to Decide What Goes in Your Scene

Very often I see new writers who can write exciting prose on a line-by-line basis, but when I start reading their stories, I soon discover that the story itself is weak, and that the author just has too much going on in the scene. The author’s descriptions may wander, so that the story loses tension, […]

How to Write a Damned Good Scene, Part 1

Often while looking at the scenes a new writer creates, I take a look and think, Well, that’s pretty lame. So how do you avoid writing lame scenes? First, you need to brainstorm every scene. There are a few common questions that need to be answered in each one. Who is your viewpoint character? This […]