As you’re writing, and/or rewriting, ask yourself this very key question: what is the purpose of this scene? This issue may be more prevalent for seat-of-the-pants writers, but outliners can lose sight too. And if you lose sight, you might lose readers…

Scenes should:

• Advance the plot

• Bring the hero and the heroine into a new dynamic in their relationship (in a romance), whether that’s closer together, or further apart (depending on where you are in the story arc).

• Offer reveals about the characters so readers learn more

• Keep us engaged

• Leave us hooked so we keep reading

As you outline, write, or rework your story, remember to focus on each scene’s purpose. If it doesn’t have one, give it a purpose or delete it. Write tight.

Your turn: what other things should a scene do?

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