Revising Scenes


I’ve been reviewing what I’ve written so far of my novel and decided to write a checklist of what to look for when reviewing scenes. I don’t like lists as a rule, which means that when I go shopping my brain empties when faced with so many things I didn’t know I wanted, and I buy all sorts of things I never intended buying.

My Scene checklist is as follows (and they all begin with ‘s’, how fab is that!):

• Structure of the Scene – where the characters are and what they’re doing
• Setting – not just where the characters are, the weather, etc., but where the     scene is in relation to the story
• Scene strategy – what do I want to achieve in the scene
• Story/arc of the characters in the scene
• Subject/Substance – what’s the subject of the scene, the reason for it?
• State – what’s the emotional state of my characters
• Senses – sight, sound, taste etc., these sensory details can help bring a scene alive
• Symbolism
• Subtleties.

That’s my list, I have no idea whether it’s comprehensive or not, but this is what I tend to look for when revising. Of course, I hate lists so I don’t actually follow this list – but I thought it might be a good idea to try and formalise what goes through my head so when I get stuck I have something to refer to.

So tell me what I missed…:)


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