Scene Structure: How to Write the Proaction [Novel Boot Camp #12]

It’s important for the main character to be proactive. How the character attempts to solve a problem is a vital component of strong scene structure. In today’s video I discuss what it means for the protagonist to be proactive and how it can improve your scenes.


Video Highlights

  • Proactive scenes (rather than reactive scenes) require the character to take some sort of step towards solving the conflict of the scene.
  •  The protagonist being proactive doesn’t mean the character is being heroic or physically active. Initiating a conversation or going on a job interview could be proactive if it connects to the character’s goal.
  • Because of your character’s flaw and false belief, the character will often be proactive in ways that aren’t productive or even make the situation worse, especially in the first half of the novel.

Questions to Ask About Your Novel

Look at a few scenes in your novel. Is the main character proactive?

Does the character take some sort of action to solve the conflict? If the character doesn’t take action, then it’s difficult to create a compelling scene. The resolution of the conflict (even if the resolution involves the character failing) gives strong pacing to the scene by providing a clear conclusion.

If you have any questions about proaction, please post them in the comments.

Workshop #2 peer critiques have been posted. Please don’t forget to critique at least five submissions!

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3 thoughts on “Scene Structure: How to Write the Proaction [Novel Boot Camp #12]

  1. Nicole L Ochoa says:

    I appreciate all of the info on how to break down a scene to make sure that it is relevant to the overarching goal of the protagonist. I picked three random scenes to see if I could identify the goal, conflict and the plan the protagonist formed and acted upon that conflict. This exercise was a bit difficult for me because I could see elements of these requirements but had a hard time putting them into definite context. I learned that I need to clean up my writing, I have been wasteful with my words.

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