Jump to content

Writing Scenes That Work

Recommended Posts

Rebecca Monterusso talks about how to write scenes that work using the five commandments of storytelling.


Writing scenes that work means hitting all five commandments of story telling. You’ll need inciting incidents that knock a protagonist out of their normal. Progressive complications that build tension until they are given a choice and forced to make a decision. A choice that defines who they are and must be answered. And an answer that will lead to a resolution and a new way of looking at the world. Without any of these elements, a piece of writing is not a scene. Scenes have to move and change has to occur because meaningful change is the whole purpose of a story.


In outline form, the commandments are as follows:

1. Inciting Incident

 a. Causal

 b. Coincidence

2. Progressive Complication

 a. Active Turning Point

 b. Revelatory Turning Point

3. Crisis

 a .The Best Bad Choice

 b. Irreconcilable Goods

4. Climax

5. Resolution


  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, suspensewriter said:

Phy, you introduce us to so much interesting analysis I feel like I'm back in school!


Heh. My pleasure. It helps me, too. ;)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now