Scene Structure: How to Write the Consequence [Novel Boot Camp #13]

The consequence or effect of a scene on the overarching plot is a vital component of how well the scene will work in your novel. In this video I discuss several ways to create consequences so that scenes have more meaning and momentum.

Video Highlights

  • All proactive scenes need to have a consequence or effect on the overarching plot.
  • The consequence of the scene is anything that changes how the character moves forward.
  • The character could obtain a new item, run into a new obstacle or conflict, change their perception or opinion of something or someone, or obtain a new piece of information.

Questions to Ask About Your Novel

Look at a few scenes in your novel. Is there a clear consequence of the scene?

Does the scene have an effect on the plot? Does it change something about how the story moves forward? A scene that doesn’t change anything is most likely ineffective and irrelevant. A strong chain reaction between scenes helps create a sense of momentum and excitement in your stories.

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

The Q&A session submission form is open! Please submit your questions for the Q&A session next week!

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

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One thought on “Scene Structure: How to Write the Consequence [Novel Boot Camp #13]

  1. Nicole L Ochoa says:

    Was it Faulkner that said “…you must kill your darlings?” That’s how I feel right now. I have a scene that I absolutely LOVE in my book but it doesn’t cut the mustard when put to Ellen’s test:
    1. Does the scene have a clear consequence? Nope
    2. Does it have an effect on the plot? I wish it did
    3. Does it change something about how the story moves forward? No, but it is romantic.
    4. What is the chain reaction it causes? It does absolutely nothing. 😦 super sad face

    I guess it must go or be rewritten so that it holds a consequence. Thanks for the help, Ellen.

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