2 Ways To Make Sure You've Chosen the Right Scene

2 Ways to Choose the Right Scene

2 Ways To Make Sure You've Chosen the Right SceneToday, I’m guest posting over on Jerry Jenkins’s site, with the post “Does This Scene Deserve a Place in Your Story? 2 Ways to Find Out.” Here’s an excerpt:

“Cut this scene. It doesn’t move the plot.”

That is my most frequent comment on manuscripts I edit for others. It causes most writers to groan. Not only am I telling you to cut your beloved scenes (perhaps even your favorite), but you’re left to figure out why these scenes are extraneous—and then either fix or replace them.

Bill Buchanan emailed me:

Could you tell me how to evaluate the relative value of any scene in my novel?

Sol Stein’s book On Writing says:

“…I found it desirable to set a standard. If any scene falls below that standard, out it goes. The process stops when the remaining scenes all seem to contribute strongly to the work as a whole.”

Stein didn’t describe his scene evaluation standard, so don’t worry if you don’t have an answer for this. If it was easy, Sol Stein would’ve explained it!

Fortunately, I do have an answer. Once you understand the twofold essence of a powerful scene, you will instinctively reject sub-par scenes and replace them with memorable and powerful alternatives.

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.

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