Self-Editing and Scene Goals

by | Jan 29, 2011 | inspirational fiction | 1 comment

I’m reading Self-Editing For Fiction Writers, recommended by Patti Lacy.

It’s very good.

And is causing me to go back through my pages to see where I can make things tighter. Show more than tell, use more action verbs.

Those sorts of things.

But one thing I hadn’t really considered was working each of my scenes around a central goal.

For  example, I have three scenes in the first chapter of The Thornbearer. Well, after a hearty critique by Patti – I now have three scenes in my first chapter. With some helpful prods from Patti and some faithful toe-crushing, education from SelfEditing For Fiction Writers, I’ve come up with goals for each of the scenes in my first three chapters…I think. (It’s me and Patti in the pic to the right – at ACFW. Isn’t she cute 🙂

Have you ever done this?

I’ll show you how I have mine set up. I’d love to see how you set up your goals, or learn ways you come to a goal for a scene. Remember, each scene serves the purpose of moving the story forward.

Chapter 1

  1. Get out of America (Ashleigh’s POV)
    1. Ending hook: Sam is coming too
    2. Keep Sam from coming (Ashleigh’s POV)
      1. Ending hook: Letters, Michael onboard?
      2. Get on that boat with Ashleigh – and sort out his feelings (Sam’s POV)
        1. Ending hook: Lusitania threatened. Feelings for Ashleigh?

Chapter 2

  1. Prove to Sam she is not a child (Ashleigh’s POV)
    1. Ending hook: “Maybe you do not know me or my sister as well as you think you do?”
    2. Make amends for his behavior…realization a change in his feelings for her  (Sam’s POV)
      1. Ending hook: Confrontation with Michael 

What about you?

1 Comment

  1. Susan Mason

    Hey, Pepper. We must be on the same learning curve! I’m going back through a new wip and trying to figure out goals for each scene. I knew your character had to have a goal in the book, but didn’t know each SCENE had to have a goal. Sometimes it’s really hard to figure out!

    Thanks for sharing!



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