Scene Changes

I’ve been trying to think through how to explain thinking in scenes to young writers in a way that makes it accessible. It seems they either write two scenes and call it done (when it really isn’t enough) or they write micro-scenes, making about 50 of them when there should only be four. How do we help students think in scenes? Today Shelley Kunkle (seventh grade language arts teacher extraordinaire) and I brainstormed a few possibilities.

  1. If the action changes place or time then there is a new scene.
  2. If there is a shift in the conflict (or to a new conflict) then there is a new scene.
  3. If a character enters the scene and the action shifts then there is a new scene.

Can you think of other ways a scene shifts?