Stories are comprised of scenes, which makes irrelevant scenes or passages snares to the entire story. A great writer critically composes every passage as though it has multiple reasons to exist. Some reasons can be more significant than others or allude to a developing subplot, but make certain you have at least two or three in each scene during the drafting of the story. When writing you must decide what the scene will accomplish from the reader’s perspective, and use elements to best meet that goal.

Scenes should reveal at least one of these Essential Elements:
♠ Time & Place: ground readers in the where and when, (“A week later in…)
♠ Plot point
♠ Character’s goal(s)
♠ Action to advance the plot
♠ Action to increase the tension of the overall story or chapter
Scenes should also reveal at least two of these Important Elements:
♣ A cause or effect of character conflict
♣ How stakes are raised
♣ A reinforcement of the stakes
♣ Character motivation
♣ Character development*

*If you’re using disagreements, tension, or suspense to compel your reader will expect some sort of change in a main character, be it emotional or character growth.

Scenes can also reveal these Bonus Elements:
♦ Character backstory
♦ World building
♦ Foreshadowing
♦ Story theme
♦ Story’s tone or mood
When you’re editing scenes consider these elements for additional lines or details.

♥ Scenes revealing or dramatizing time. Use this when your scene relies on a summary, or when the scene tells rather than shows what’s happening.
♥ How much time does it take to get away from a conflict or run towards a character? How much space is between them?
♥ High points in a story must be written in the moment, or moment-by-moment in real time.