In studying what makes up each individual scene, one of the biggest things I’ve discovered is that there needs to be a purpose for each scene. It could be for an external event to move along the plot or for the character to learn something new, but either way, each scene needs to accomplish something. You need to have a goal.
There are two main kinds of goals for each scene and either or both will help propel a book toward an effective climax and resolution. They will also help keep your reader interested.
These are the kinds of goals you have for your characters in each scene. The kind that help you realize where the character is heading and why. What is urging them toward growth or keeping them from it. In each scene, having goals for your characters is a good idea.
You can accomplish this by asking yourself these questions:
What do you want your character to experience in this scene?
How do you want your character to grow or change in this scene?
What do you want your character to realize in this scene?
What decision does your character make in this scene?
Essentially you want your character to start off in one place at the beginning of the scene and end up somewhere else. Either emotionally or physically. When you know your character’s overall motivations or goals, breaking them down scene by scene to get there will help move the story along and progress it logically for the reader.
These are goals you can set for individual scenes that help advance the plot. Basically, it comes down to events. Your entire story is made up of a series of events that get you from chapter to chapter or scene to scene until the books end. So, ask yourself:
What do I want to accomplish during this scene?
What event happens during this scene that causes external or internal conflict?
What should or could occur to help the story arrive at an effective or explosive climax?
Making a plot goal for each scene is an excellent way to progress the story and hold your reader's attention.
Do you set goals for each scene? Character goals or plot goals or both?