We’re one week into Camp NaNoWriMo! Did you survive the holiday weekend with your novel intact?
I didn’t as well as I wanted to, but that’s okay–seeing family was good, and helping my toddler recover from all that family (and not enough sleep) was necessary.
Now Monday rolls in with this reminder that Camp is a quarter over and I’m right where I left off five days ago. So here’s something I’m using today to get me jump-started back into noveling excitement…
A (Quick) Scene CheckList:
Does my scene…
- have a mission or story purpose?
- raise the stakes, escalate the conflict, or introduce danger?
- create/show motivation, needs, or flaws?
- evoke all five senses?
- have dialog/internal monolog?
- have a strong point of view?
- have a setting that the characters use/are influenced by?
- show us something specific and new about the characters/story?
- have a beginning/middle/end?
- reflect the context of the novel (foreshadowing, setup, payoff)?
- fit the story I’m trying to tell?
Setting out to make every scene fit all these criteria (and more, since there are more complicated checklists out there) can get stressful, but if I can’t check off most of these items, then my scene isn’t really a scene. The bolded are my must-haves.
What scene criteria do you look for to make planning your scenes easier?