#amwriting #scenes #ReadTSW
Preparation to Write
Every story has a scene. More than one for that matter. A good scene brings a story to life. When I write fiction, I use a systematic approach to developing each scene in the story. I adopted this method years ago from bits of information I gleaned from learning about writing. I write each scene out on index cards and place them in a recipe box. Each novel I am working on has its own recipe box with scene cards outlining the novel.
Before I get to the scene writing part I first have to think through the story. I usually begin with the synopsis. The synopsis gives me a general idea of how I want things to go. From the synopsis I create the beginning, middle, and end. This further puts things in order. With each part I am being more descriptive and intentional with what’s going on in the story. There are key targets I want to reach in the beginning, middle, and end.
Once I have the synopsis and the beginning, middle and end done I can began making a character list. One thing to remember about my process is, things can change at any time. Nothing is set in stone. I have had times while I am writing where I added a new character into the story or created a different twist in the story than I originally set up. As the author of your novel you are the driver and have the power to change anything at any point in time.
The last step I work through before creating the scenes is thinking through the events that will take place in the story. This is will guide me with a rough idea of how many chapters I will have in the book. Once that is worked through, I write a very short summary on the front of the card for each chapter. This keeps me focused on what the goal is for each chapter.
Now I will show you how I create my scenes for each chapter. The number of scenes vary according to what’s going on in the chapter. Each scene card includes the following content:
The characters are the first thing to decide on. All the characters that are going to be in the scene are listed. Even if they have a small part. I start with the main characters and then add the rest.
Example: Characters: Sara, Bill and Liza
Point of View
Next, I figure out the point of view. The way to do this is to think about which characters view is important in the scene. Another way to look at it is, “Who do you want the reader to focus on?” There may be times when there is more than one point of view, and that’s fine.
Example: POV: Bill’s
I write in the setting where the scene is taking place. I don’t get real detailed with this. I may add certain elements if it’s something I want to connect to something else in the story.
Example: Setting: The old brick church in Lazy town.
The summary is the final piece. It just tells something about what needs to happen in the scene. Kind of like a synopsis. The purpose is to keep the story arriving at different events, which helps keeps the story flowing nicely. As I write, I fill in all the details that round the story out.
Example: Bill and Sara go to the old brick church to meet Liza. When they arrive they see the stones that were missing from Sara’s mom’s stone collection at the museum.
I know writing a novel can happen a few different ways. The task is to find what works for you. Using scene cards is a keeper for me, at least with writing fiction. Most of all, being organized and following my process for writing has helped me produce. Having scene cards allows me to make sure each chapter gives the reader something exciting to read about. I hope I shared something that was helpful to help you produce as well. Now, let’s write!