Writing Deep Scenes: Plotting Your Story through Action, Emotion & Theme
Our new book Writing Deep Scenes is out and I’m eager to introduce you to each other! As I write this, I decide first on one section about plotting and action to highlight and then another section about emotion… or, perhaps I’ll share some theme nuggets with you — Writing Deep Scenes has so many helpful new ideas and examples and unique ways into your writing through action, emotion and theme that I’m having a hard time deciding on just one. I settle on what I’m most excited about in Writing Deep Scenes and what I believe has never been offered before now — a list of 15 Different Scene Types with lots of suggestions and examples where best in your novel, memoir or screenplay to use each of them (following is an overview from the book why using a mixture of different scene types keeps your action exciting, your emotions true and your themes strong).
We have found, both when working with writers and in our own writing, that it’s common for writers to use the same type of scene throughout an entire manuscript. Like a composer using one note in a symphony, or a painter choosing only a single color for a large mural, the effect of using the same scene type for the duration of a novel often creates a flat or monotonous story that doesn’t allow your character to undergo a full breadth of transformation.
Even when you know exactly what your story requires, building tension and evoking emotion using a variety of scene designs may elude you. Building a strong, rich, multilayered plot with your scenes and Energetic Markers demands that some scenes be strenuous and complex while others rely on brevity and simplicity. The best scenes are those that accomplish many story demands at once. Still, not all scenes are equal. We invite you to explore, choose from, and experiment with the vast panoply of scene types featured in this chapter. We have organized them around the universal plot design, walking you through each scene type to remove the guesswork. Our list is by no means exhaustive. However, we find it’s a good place to start when looking for the best possible means of entertaining your readers and satisfying the universal expectations for every story.
Using all fifteen types of scenes broadens your ability to reach and impact your readers in the exact way you desire. By integrating a variety of scene types into your stories, you lead the reader deeper into the heart of your action, emotion, and meaning. (from my new book Writing Deep Scenes: Plotting Your Story Through Action, Emotion & Theme with co-author Jordan Rosenfeld)