By: Angela Booth
We’ve often talked about writing fiction in scenes. Whether you’re a
pantser, or an author who lives by his outlines, scenes help
you to keep control of your novels, serials, and short stories.
The most important scenes in fiction are your “big” scenes. In a romance, they’re the scenes in which the main characters become romantically involved. In a mystery, they’re the scenes in which you artfully drop clues to either guide, or mislead, your readers.
The BIG secret: work out your big scenes, and write towards them
Even if you love outlining, it’s all too easy to lose track in your fiction. If you’ve written a novel or two, it’s happened to you. You’re meant to be writing a romance, yet here you are, a quarter of the way through your novel, and the hero’s nowhere in sight.
You can avoid those disasters by deciding what your readers expect from your genre. In a romance, it’s
… the romance. In a mystery…
the mystery. In a horror novel, readers want to be scared out of their wits.
Genres are labels, and readers expect to consume what it says on the tin.
What do readers expect? That’s your clue to your big scenes
Please write down what readers expect. Don’t imagine that because you’ve read science fiction since you were in high school, you know, and can meet readers’ expectations. Yes, you know. And you’ll forget.
So make a list.
Then, make a list of the big scenes.
If you’re writing a romance:
- The hero and heroine meet;
- First stumbling block to their relationship;
- Another stumbling block;
- They like each other, and eliminate one block;
- They do/ don’t consummate their relationship. If they do, then you’re writing a steamier kind of romance, and the consummation happens at the midpoint of your novel;
Discovering your big scenes helps if you dislike plotting
. . .
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