Session Two: Scene and Plot 

1. Intro – Warmup.

  • The story I want to write is….
  • This first writing aims for a quick-shot summary of the potential story line.
  • Dialogue to rekindle the spark of creativity.

2. Narration and Voice.

  • Exercises in syntax—short sentence, chaining, long sentence release—plus models (Marquez, Atwood, Faulkner, etc.) guide in the tricky art of good narration.

3. Writing the Three-Person Scene.

  • The character triad: Protagonist-Antagonist-Helper/Intruder forms the basis for the dramatic Three-Person Scene.

4. Plotting: Back Story and Key Scenes.

  • The past informs the present.
  • Probing character back story for informing trauma leads writers into the psychological structure of personality.
  • Key scenes: Opener, Plot Point One, Mid-Point, Plot Point Two, Climax. Basic plot is set.

5. Act One: Opening & PP1 + Scene Generation.

  • Writing Act 1 the writer sets the story motion with Protagonist On-stage with a problem.
  • Scene list work fills in the gap between opener and Plot Point 1.
  • Sketched scenes – scene profile and scene summaries develop story impulse.

6. Act Two: MP & PP2 + Scene Generation.

  • Disciplined replication of Session 4 projects the writer into the center of the piece.
  • Mid-Point and Plot Point 2 connected.
  • Scene list, scene profile, scene summaries drive the writer to the end of Act 2.

7. Act Three: Climax & Wrap Up + Scene Generation.

  • Plotting and scene work bring the writer to the climax of Act 3 and Wrap-up.
  • Scene list work builds continuity from PP 2 to closure.           

8. Scenes to Finish Act One – Scene Lab.

9. Extended Essay: Where my story wants to go now….

10. Performance of Scenes. In this closing segment, we encourage writers to prepare a scene, bring copies of the scene for each character plus narrator. Then cast the performance with writers who do a dramatic reading of the scene. This induces, in the writer, what we call the Squirm Factor, that moment when the writer hears the words in another’s mouth and begins to squirm. This squirming usually induces a fit of insight that leads to a good rewrite of the scene.

  1. One: Foundations
  2. Two: Scene and Plot
  3. Three: Form

Tips for Instructors
Story Development Introduction

© 2012 Jack Remick and Robert J. Ray. All Rights Reserved.