Making a Scene

Scene Writing Guidelines

If you have ever written an essay, you likely are familiar with a paragraph, a group of sentences organized around one main idea. Your essay progresses from one idea to the next using transitional sentences. The paragraph is a basic building block in essay writing.

Similarly, story writing also has a basic building block and that is the scene.  Your story will progress from scene to scene using transitions known as summaries.

The “Scene Writing Guidelines” in this Writing Lesson will help you to understand the differences between a Scene, a Summary, and a Sequel (a more complex form of summary).

A Sample Scene” illustrates what both a scene and a summary look like, drawn from a published memoir—Betty Enns’ Living Our Prayer.

A short story sometimes revolves around just one incident or event and only one scene is needed to depict it. Other times our stories include a number of events or incidents over a span of time. This distinction is described in “Incident and Phase.”

Scene Writing Guidelines

A Sample Scene

Incident and Phase