09 November 2009

Scene Organization

Whether you like to work out the elements of your story on the page or are a pre-plotter, everyone benefits from a bit of periodic organization. 

See how many of the key scenes you can identify in the story you're imagining, writing, or perfecting:

1) Set-up: The set-up you create in the Beginning makes the journey the protagonist undertakes in the Middle feel inevitable. 

2) Inciting Incident: A moment, conflict, dilemma, loss, fear, etc. that forces the protagonist to take immediate action.

3) End of the Beginning: The protagonist's goal shifts or takes on greater meaning and turns the story in a new direction, launching the character into the actual story world itself.

4) Halfway Point: The moment the protagonist consciously makes a total commitment to achieving her goal and does something that signifies she has burned all bridges back and thus can only go forward. 

5) Crisis: The all-is-lost moment.

6) Climax: Just as it looks as if all is permanently lost for the protagonist, she saves the day.

For more on key scenes: