April Theme: Brainstorms
By Marcia Thornton Jones

I’m a big fan of free-association thinking and freewriting. In fact, I have stacks of journals filled with notes, charts, webs, and freewrites. I’m always surprised and delighted at the ideas and insights that are revealed from just putting pencil to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

That being said, I also am aware that I can spend time and energy journaling without ever really making any progress on a specific work. Again, I have all those stacks of journals filled with notes, charts, webs, and freewrites that go absolutely nowhere. That’s why I developed a list of 10 questions to help focus my idea-generating sessions when working on new scenes for a book.

Why not give them a try, and let me know if they help you, too?
Marcia’s 10 Questions for Scene Development
Use these 10 questions to plan, write, and/or revise your novel scene-by-scene!

  1. Where is the character (setting that anchors the character in a specific place and time)?
  2. Why is the character there?
  3. What does the character want (goal)?
  4. 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)?
  5. What stands in the character’s way (internal and/or external obstacles(s)?
  6. What does the character do about it (action)?
  7. What happens to keep the character from succeeding (disaster)?
  8. What dilemma results from the disaster that requires a decision for the character?
  9. What new situation arises from the decision of the character?
  10. How is this situation even worse than the situation at the beginning of the scene? 
Marcia Thornton Jones/2016
Linked in: Marcia (Thornton) Jones
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Mentoring: www.carnegiecenterlex.org


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