Posted by: nancycurteman | March 15, 2014

How to Write Novel Scenes That Are Novel

Bookmark and Share

shinyA novel is constructed of scenes. An interesting novel is constructed of novel scenes. In other words, your scenes need to be unique and fresh not ho hum. Here are some ways to write novel scenes that are novel:

• Every scene should include indicators of time and setting either stated directly or implied. Don’t wax poetically. Be specific and brief.

• Effective scenes must provide change that moves the plot forward. Think conflict, tension, suspense, emotional stress.

• Page-turning scenes present a goal the protagonist hopes to accomplish then tortures him with both internal and external obstacles and failures. The obstacles may be large or small but they must be frustrating to the character.

• In each scene the protagonist must react to the dramatic action. This reaction may be emotional or physical or both.

• For a strong action scene the protagonist must act not spend time pondering.

• Signal a new scene by the start of a chapter or by a break of four lines between the last paragraph of one scene and the first paragraph of the next one.

• Think of each scene as a mini story with a beginning, middle and ending.

Write novel scenes that are novel.

More Tips:

7 Story Structure Weaknesses That Collapse Your Mystery Novel

How Subplots Enrich Your Mystery Novel

How to Create a Plot for a Novel


  1. Good tips, NC. Hope your 3/24 Appearance goes well!


    • I’m practicing for my presentation. Power Point is still a bit new to me. Thanks for the good wishes.


  2. You get to the point with your tips and keep me on my toes… or fingertips! Thank you.


    • Lori, Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope my tips continue to be helpful.


  3. Good advice. It’s easy to get involved in the arc of a novel or novella and forget that individual scenes should be carefully constructed to move the action forward.


    • Art, I really believe scenes are the basic structure of a novel. I do try to make of each scene as a mini story. Not always easy.


  4. It has come to mind that these steps could work well when I am writing about my travels as I write a supporting short narrative for my photos.


    • Hi Larry, I’m so glad you find my suggestions useful.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: