How to write a scene breakdown mary

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How to write a scene breakdown mary

You know how complex writing a novel can be. You not only have to come up with a great premise, engaging charactershigh stakes, and conflict that pushes the protagonist toward his goal, but you must also learn how write a scene that compels readers—and fill your book with them.

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That is a lot harder than some think. Need help writing your novel? Opening Scenes should be loaded with character and set up your premise. Middle Scenes carry complications, twists, and raise the stakes. Climactic Scenes should build to a riveting climax, so they might be shorter and packed with action and emotion.

Good advice but vague. You want strong pacing, showing rather than telling, and to create empathy for your protagonist. Plus, you want mystery and conflict in every scene to keep readers turning the pages. So, the purpose of the scene is key. In life, things happen, we react, process what happened, and decide on new action.

Write one sentence that encapsulates that for each scene. Its purpose is to show my hero, Buck, losing control and scaring the heroine, Angela. I fix that in my mind and make sure every element of my scene serves that purpose.

Identify the High Moment This occurs near the end of a scene, maybe even in the last line. Because most of your scenes should mimic overall novel structure, with a beginning, middle, climax, and ending. The high moment in my midpoint scene comes when Buck goes crazy in an attempt to keep Angela safe.

I had established that she is terrified of snakes, and the scene begins just before they run into a mess of rattlers. The high moment is Angela screaming as the snakes strike. Buck shoots his rifle, then slashes in fury at the critters with his knife.

I end the scene with Buck a man possessed and Angela more frightened of his behavior than she is of the snakes.

how to write a scene breakdown mary

This crucial step in the process reveals the ultimate purpose of your scene. Inner and Outer A great novel will have conflict on every page, sometimes inner, other times outer.

Think of ways to ramp up conflict to the highest stakes possible. Too few writers do this. My rattlesnake scene carries obvious outer conflict: But if that were all, the scene would be lacking. He intends to show courage and his desire to protect her, but it backfires. Literary agent Donald Maass encourages writers to consider how a point-of-view POV character feels before a scene starts and how she feels when the scene ends.

Your character should be changed by what happens.

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