– A lot of authors and writers commonly struggle with coming up with ideas for scenes that convey all the things needed to portray your story effectively to the reader. I’ve made a list of things to think about when you’re coming up with ideas for scenes in your story for use whenever you’re lost or stuck. Happy writing!
Things To Consider When Brainstorming
What do you want to convey in this scene?
Character growth or regression? Plot progression or subplot significance? Figure out the technical purpose of the scene before coming up with what it’s going to be, because if you focus solely on what happens in it, you’ll end up having to cut a lot of it to make way for the stuff that makes the story stronger, rather than more dramatic.
Who should be included in this scene?
Every scene needs a cast, so after you’ve figured out what you want to convey to the reader through the scene, you need to decide what combination of characters will do that efficiently. What characters’ interactions could be used to get the information from your brain to the reader’s, and in the most engaging way?
How much page time can you dedicate to this scene?
Word counts and page limits don’t really matter much in the scheme of things because you can always go back later and cut out some stuff or add some things to make sure the page time dedicated to each subject is efficient and effective. However, it’s really helpful to have an idea of how much page time this subject is worth, and this of course goes back to the main idea you’re trying to convey. If you’re trying to illustrate an important aspect of two characters’ relationship, it probably constitutes a bit more time and attention to detail than writing a short argument between two characters that only acts as a set up for a future scene.
How does this scene contribute to the story progression?
This scene, like every other, needs to do at least two things. The first (and most imperative) is contribute to the progression of the plot, whether that be the building up the conflict or moving toward the resolution. It should convey important information to the reader that pushes the plot forward in some way. This also includes subplots.The second can be any one or combination of the following two options: A) develop the characters and show how they are growing/regressing, or B) develop the world the characters are in, and convey important information that will contribute to the reader’s understanding of the story. This is also a good place to start thinking about foreshadowing and the consequences of events in the scene on the future of the characters and the conflict overall.
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