The Key Elements of a Scene

In the thick of writing my new novel during National Novel Writing Month, I am trying my best to make this book the best yet. In doing so, I have been doing research and trying to find out what makes a story tick, so I will be writing a few things during November that I think are pivotal in really moving a story along. And to begin, let’s discuss what makes a great scene.

I feel like there are three key elements in a scene … which often is what compromises a chapter. They are:

  • Advance the story
  • Reveal new information about the character or about the story
  • Engage and push the reader forward

That’s it. Simple enough, right?


In writing my first book (and subsequently re-reading it a million times), I realized that it was filled with a lot of fluff. There are things in there that don’t really matter and they don’t add anything to the character or to the overall story. So far, I have been trying my best to make things as tight as possible in my new novel, but that is much easier said than done. But having these three elements written down constantly reminds me of my main goal and helps me focus.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any other elements that are pivotal in creating a scene that I may be missing?





One thought on “The Key Elements of a Scene

  1. I know exactly what you mean! I’m a fluff girl, but since working with great editors, they’ve taught me to bring the reader in and give emotions, thoughts and feelings, to the character or storyline. Since then, my NaNoWriMo story has come along quite nicely. Though, it’s only day 5, I feel confident that this book will be far different than “The Right Design”.

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