Scenes are the building blocks of your story. Each scene moves the story forward. As you build your story alternate between action and reaction.
When you go through the first edits of your story make certain that all scene components are in each scene. You’ll take your reader by the hand to lead them through the story.
Two Types of Scenes
Alternating between Proactive and Reactive scenes is a cycle that builds story in increments.
The Proactive Scene challenges your protagonist.
By the end of the scene, the protagonist not only did not reach his goal but has a setback that leaves him worse off than at the beginning.
Checklist for the Proactive Scene
Put your hero or heroine in the worst situations as they seek what seems like an obtainable goal at the beginning of the scene.
The Reactive Scene
Now that you have thwarted your protagonist, it’s time to give him some space. This scene is where your heroine decides what to do next.
Checklist for the Reactive Scene
These are the basic elements to include in the Reactive scene when your protagonist makes a decision
Reactive scenes provide a way for your character to make terrible decisions which will create even greater conflict later on. She may be blind to the motivations of another character. He may find that getting into the boardroom isn’t a slam dunk. Reactive scenes are your opportunity to build conflict and tension because the following action scene may be based on a very wrong decision that seemed right at the time for the character.
Why This Structure Helps
Zara Altair writes mysteries set in ancient Italy. Argolicus thinks he has retired, but he and his tutor, Nikolaos are drawn into puzzles, politics, and murder.
She consults with a select group of writers as The Story Bodyguard.
The puzzle of politics, the mystery of murder in ancient Italy. After Rome, before the Middle Ages, Italy belonged to the Ostrogoths.
Get to know Argolicus in the Argolicus Mysteries starting with The Used Virgin. The Peach Widow will be out soon.
Work in progress: Ravenna: A Mosaic a historical thriller.
Point Of View
Story Outline Template
The Peach Widow
The Used Virgin