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31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 30

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31-Days-of-NaNoPrepMo-by-Katrina-OstranderDay 30: Do you want to create a scene tracker?

Story and setting. If an outline is the macro level of your plot, the scene tracker allows you to delve into greater detail on a scene-by-scene basis. Again, you may not need or want one, but you may find it useful to think of scenes in their component parts as you write your way through NaNo. You’ll want to have your outline handy for this, but you can also apply it just to the scenes you know you have even if you don’t have all of them yet.

Action Plan: Fill out a scene tracker (such as this one or this one) for as many scenes in your novel as you can or want to. Specifically, consider what is changing in regards to the internal conflict (emotional development of the character) and the external conflict (dramatic action or plot) in each scene, and ask yourself how the theme is being evoked. What obstacle or decision is being addressed by the protagonist and their allies—or avoided? What are the consequences either way? And finally, where and when does the scene take place?

When it comes time to write that scene during the month of NaNo, briefly review the scene tracker to remind yourself of the important elements of scenecraft, as well as the specific elements for this scene particularly, so that you can hit all the notes/story beats you wanted to and create a scene that pulls its weight and addresses two or more of the three magic elements of plot (story and setting), character development (your protagonist), and theme.

Additional Reading: “7 Essential Elements of Scene + Scene Structure Exercise”  from Jane Friedman“A Scene Checklist” from Bob and Jack’s Writing Blog

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