J.M. Williams

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REBLOG: How to Outline a Scene like a Pro

May
20

Such a great outline for checking your scenes, I had to share! Thank you for the advice, Amy.

Amy Walters is an author and blogger who often blogs about writing techniques and tips. It would definitely be worth your time to jump over and check out what she has to say on the topic of fiction writing.

Regarding this particular post, I think the checklist she provides for examining scenes is very helpful, particularly for those odd, tricky scenes that are hard to parse. Most of the points in the list are very useful, so it’s hard to isolate a few to focus on. Certainly POV is a big issue for scenes. Your POV should not be shifting in scene without a very, very good reason. It’s a common, unintentional mistake in the early drafts of new writers. Also, the POV should also be clear from the beginning of the scene. Who is experiencing this scene and what does that mean for the information the readers receive?

If I were to choose one point from the list as the best or most important (which I shouldn’t, as they are all useful, but I am trying to add my two bits here), then I would say “What do I want the reader to feel by the end of this scene?” is the critical question to ask when developing and evaluating a scene. This is your end goal, the target you want to hit with your prose. This goal is the idea of how the scene fits into the larger work, its purpose. The first way to evaluate your scene is to ask if you’ve met that goal.

But I don’t think you should only focus on that point and ignore the rest. I cannot reiterate enough that there are a lot of great points in the checklist.

If you’d like to know how to evaluate a scene, jump on over to Amy’s blog and see what she has to say.

One Response to REBLOG: How to Outline a Scene like a Pro

  1. I read “The Lives We Bury” by Allen Eskens recently and I think he does a great job with his scenes in each chapter as the writer you highlighted here has outlined. his chapters are short but with just one scene of interest each time and he gets the message clearly across.

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