I’ve been beta-reading some manuscripts on my down time between writing and studying, and I’ve found myself giving the same pieces of advice to these writers regarding their stories. One of the things that I’ve found myself commenting on a lot involve scenes, and the writing of scenes in particular; from what I’ve seen in the early drafts that have been given to me, these writers seem to have written scenes that seem to be nice in theory, until they are taken within the context of the greater narrative where they turn out to be disjointed and clunky.
One piece of advice that I seem to have given repeatedly comes from Rachel Aaron’s 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love, in which plotting scenes are part of making the writing process more productive and less painful. Basically, Rachel states that her scenes need to do three things in order for them to be included in her novels:
- Advance the story
- Reveal new information
- Pull the reader forward