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Chapter 4: Plotting: Scenes, Sequels, and Narrative

Novel Scenes and Sequels Together

Melissa Ford Lucken

Scenes and sequels work together in a novel to create a cohesive and engaging story. They form a narrative structure that drives the plot forward, develops characters, and maintains reader interest. Scenes and sequels work together to build the story.

Scene:

Introduction

A scene begins by introducing the setting, characters, and the immediate goal or conflict that drives the scene. It establishes the scene’s purpose and sets the stage for the action to come.

Action and Conflict

The scene unfolds with actions, dialogue, and events that advance the plot and create conflict or tension. Characters interact, face obstacles, and work towards their goals, driving the story forward. The scene may contain rising action, climax, and resolution within its own structure.

Cliffhangers or Hooks

Scenes often end with a cliffhanger or a hook that leaves the reader wanting more. It creates a sense of anticipation and encourages readers to keep turning the pages.

Consequence

The story element, action, or new information created or revealed by the scene.

Sequel:

Reaction

After a scene, a sequel follows, allowing the character to react emotionally and mentally to the events that transpired. It delves into the character’s thoughts, feelings, and reflections, offering insights into their internal landscape and emotional journey.

Dilemma

The sequel presents the character with a dilemma or challenge stemming from the previous scene. This dilemma creates tension and raises stakes, forcing the character to make difficult choices or face obstacles that shape their next course of action.

Decision

In response to the dilemma, the character makes a decision that propels the story forward. This decision sets the stage for the next scene and introduces new conflicts, goals, or developments. It becomes the driving force for the subsequent scene and continues the narrative progression.

Scenes and sequels work together to create a rhythmic pattern in the storytelling. Scenes provide the action, conflict, and external events that drive the plot, while sequels offer the character’s internal reactions, dilemmas, and decisions that shape their personal journey.

The alternating structure of scenes and sequels creates a dynamic flow, allowing the story to progress while providing moments of reflection, emotional depth, and decision-making for the characters. This structure maintains reader engagement by balancing action with character development and creating a sense of momentum and anticipation.

Effective utilization of scenes and sequels ensures a well-paced narrative, depth in character arcs, and a satisfying storytelling experience for the readers.

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