Marcia’s 10 Questions for Outlining a Scene
Use these 10 questions to plan, write, and/or revise your novel scene-by-scene!
- Where is the character (setting that anchors the character in a specific place and time)?
- Why is the character there?
- What does the character want (goal)?
- Why does the character believe he/she needs to achieve that goal (internal and/or external motivation based on a perceived ‘death stake’ of physical, professional, or psychological)?
- What stands in the character’s way (internal and/or external obstacles(s)?
- What does the character do about it (action)?
- What happens to keep the character from succeeding (disaster)?
- What dilemma results from the disaster that requires a decision for the character?
- What new situation arises from the decision of the character?
- How is this situation even worse than the situation at the beginning of the scene and how does the character think/feel about this new situation?
Marcia’s In-a-nutshell Scene Prompts
- What is the setting anchor?
- What is the character’s primary goal?
- What is the obstacle?
- What is the disaster?
- What new decision does the character make?
- What are the action and tension sources in the scene?
Marcia Thornton Jones/2016
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