Goal-driven scenes

Scene Structure: Common Goal-Driven Scene Pitfalls

The scene structure of goal-driven scenes is akin to the classic joke setup, “A _____ and a _____ walk into a bar …”

A _____ and a _____ walk into a bar. The scene begins with the entrance of the protagonist and antagonist.

The first guy says … The first guy, our protagonist, lays out what’s on his mind—his immediate agenda, or the scene goal.

And so the other guys says … The antagonist throws a curveball, a turning point that disrupts the expected flow.

… [punch line]! Surprise! Something new is revealed or happens that makes everything collide in an unexpected way.

In a joke, we laugh because the poor first guy has encountered something completely expected. In a scene, we turn the page to find out what the first guy does next. It’s cause and effect, action and reaction—the foundation of every novel.

Read more in my post at Writers Helping Writers—

  • Goal-driven scene structure
  • What goal-driven scenes do
  • How to build a goal-driven scene
  • The most common pitfalls of goal-driven scenes

Lisa Poisso, Editor and Book CoachUnderstanding how stories work changes everything. I’ll show you how to back up your creative instincts so your ideas hit home. It’s time to accelerate your journey from aspiring writer to emerging author. 

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