A Checklist! For Scenes . . .

The world loves a list, and writers more than most – so here’s the list we use to check the purpose and role of each scene in the story. We hope you enjoy it.


A Scene is one event (specific/precise) from one POV in one place at one moment in time (interesting/relevant) – where something changes/happens.

Purpose:                                                                                               Audience:


Who is where (when?)

– journey                                                                                              – timeline

– stakes

– char                                                                                         – scene

– story


From:                                                                                                   To:

– What changes beginning to end?

– Character challenge?

– trait

– action/inaction

– decision/not

– consequence

– sub-plot pieces

– jig-saw puzzle / weave / pattern / puzzle

– pieces, bang, wrap


How has the world changed?                                           What does the reader learn?


What was the Action?                                                       Reaction? Physical/emotional/psychological/spiritual/intellectual.


A scene is a RELEVANT, DRAMATISED (in real-time; in Show) UNIT (encapsulation) that moves the Story forward.

Escalates to climax (end).

Build tension: decisions, actions, consequences, reactions.

Dialogue, risks. Two hot spots, no more. Long scene, stronger hot spot.

Event – small enough to be dealt with in One Place and Time.


Scene Types:

– Contemplative: goal, thought process, decision, epiphany

– Action: argument, chase, description, drama, epiphany, fight


Scene Board:

1)               Purpose – relevance

2)               POV

3)               Setting info (stage setup: time, weather, era, senses, props, symbols/thematic)

4)               Chars in scene (why?) – relationship; agenda (each char)

5)               Conflict – complications; contributes to ? plot position, growth phase

6)               Dialogue – subjects, subtext, symbol/theme, echo

7)               Internalisation – agenda, diff from dialogue

8)               Actions – dramatic; significant, but everyday actions

9)               Hot Spot (climax)

10)             Exit line

11)             Change-up (link to purpose) – what changes from beginning to end? Physical/emotional/psychological/spiritual/intellectual.


Senses: (detail to bring scene to life) See, Hear, Smell, Taste, Touch, Sense (are there more?)


Timeline of Events in Scenes:

What is at STAKE (Scene, Story, Char)? Outline what is already written –

Hook/s                                                                                                 Flow

Segue                                                                                                    Tension

Growth                                                                                                 Begin/end mirror


How has the world changed? What was learned? Do you have a Theme? Logline for scene?

Also here.




Author: 5bayby14u

Where stories live, where they wait for you, where you can find fiction from the group of writers who live in and around, are from . . . storysphere.