When I heard that each scene needs to move a story forward, I didn’t know how to do it. To me, it’s clear that the story should progress but what about downtime, having some relief from the tension or action?
Story Grid helped me to understand scene structure. If you’ve never heard of it, check out the website https://storygrid.com. There are a lot of resources available for free, and to be clear, I do not get anything from promoting Shawn Coyne’s method.
A story has to move forward
Each scene should be dynamic. Shawn says that the emotional value of each scene should change – from positive to negative or positive to double-positive or any of the variations possible. There has to be a change, even if that is from happy to ecstatic. The point is that a change is necessary for a story to feel right.
Along with the value change, every story has to have a turning point. That moment where the change happens.
Conflict is essential in some form, but it doesn’t have to be overt and can be internal. An example is that a character can be struggling with a decision they have to make or perhaps they don’t have the confidence to take action when they know they should.
Anna read a poem written by a local lass, Helen Mort called Rag and Bone in a book called Division Street. We talked about, Why Don’t You Dance by an American Writer, Raymond Carver and Anna reads the beginning of, Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemmingway. Finally, there was The Ice Road by Gillian Slovo.