Scene: Essential Elements

We can analyze a scene and make sure we are including essential elements by asking a number of questions:
1. Is it clear whose scene it is, and what he or she wants?
2. What is the conflict of the scene? Is it with one or more of the characters, with the circumstances or the surroundings of the scene, or is the conflict within the character?
3. Where and when does the scene take place? Could another time or location serve to heighten the impact?
4. What characters are present at the beginning, which ones enter during the scene, and who is there at the end?
5. Is any new character introduced? If so, does the introduction give the audience a glimpse into the nature of the character and make the character memorable enough?
6. Where were the characters before the scene started, and where are they going after it ends?
7. Has time been eclipsed since the last scene? If so, is it clear to the audience that time has passed and how much time has passed?
8. Do the actions of the characters fit their ‘through lines’?
9. Are the actions of the characters clear and motivated? Do they reveal character and/or move the story forward?
10. Is there any use of dramatic irony?
11. Is there unity of action?
12. Is the scene thematically related to the rest of the story?
13. Are the obstacles difficult enough? Are they too difficult?
14. Are the events plausible? Must disbelief be suspended? Do tese events obey the “rules” of previously suspended disbelief?
15. Does the audience know what might go right or wrong within the sene?
16. Does the dialogue reflect character? Is it natural? Forced?
17. Are the inner lives of the characters revealed through action, dialogue, and reaction?
18. Are any elements of the future used? Should they be used? Does the scene bring the action of the story too much to a standstill? Or does it propel the story forward?
19. Are there visual and audio clues and suggestions?
20. Does the scene belong in the story being told?

We can analyze a scene and make sure we are including essential elements by asking a number of questions:

1. Is it clear whose scene it is, and what he or she wants?

2. What is the conflict of the scene? Is it with one or more of the characters, with the circumstances or the surroundings of the scene, or is the conflict within the character?

3. Where and when does the scene take place? Could another time or location serve to heighten the impact?

4. What characters are present at the beginning, which ones enter during the scene, and who is there at the end?

5. Is any new character introduced? If so, does the introduction give the audience a glimpse into the nature of the character and make the character memorable enough?

6. Where were the characters before the scene started, and where are they going after it ends?

7. Has time been eclipsed since the last scene? If so, is it clear to the audience that time has passed and how much time has passed? 

8. Do the actions of the characters fit their ‘through lines’?

9. Are the actions of the characters clear and motivated? Do they reveal character and/or move the story forward?

10. Is there any use of dramatic irony?

11. Is there unity of action?

12. Is the scene thematically related to the rest of the story?

13. Are the obstacles difficult enough? Are they too difficult?

14. Are the events plausible? Must disbelief be suspended? Do these events obey the “rules” of previously suspended disbelief?

15. Does the audience know what might go right or wrong within the sene?

16. Does the dialogue reflect character? Is it natural? Forced?

17. Are the inner lives of the characters revealed through action, dialogue, and reaction?

18. Are any elements of the future used? Should they be used? Does the scene bring the action of the story too much to a standstill? Or does it propel the story forward?

19. Are there visual and audio clues and suggestions?

20. Does the scene belong in the story being told?