Tag Archives: dramatic payoff

Scene Questions

We all can probably remember a particularly vivid and effective scene from a great story. The unmasking scene in Junot Díaz’s story “Ysrael.” The riot scene in Dagoberto Gilb’s book The Flowers. The opening scene in Mary Karr’s Liars’ Club. The death of Father in Peter Rock’s My Abandonment. Most scenes by Antonya Nelson. The ending of The Grapes of Wrath. Shakespeare’s classic Nunnery Scene. Haven’t we all thought—if I could write a scene like that, it would be a truly spectacular scene.
We came up with some questions to keep in mind as you write, and you can probably think of a lot more.
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  • What is the story genre in which this scene will take place?
  • What defines the story world in which the scene dwells?
  • What are the writer’s rules for the story world? Continue reading

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