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Lauren mentioned scenes.


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When am I supposed to be using these. THe first draft of my novel has none. Is it used when changing from say indoors to outdoors, or what?

In a novel, a new scene/section usually marks a break in the action, either because time has elapsed or because you have changed point of view. Your altruism novel is written in first person, so there is no change in POV (or shouldn't be). But in a third-person novel, each scene should be told from the POV of one character, so if you want to show an event from different perspectives, each one has its own scene.


Moving from inside to outside or vice versa may mark a scene break, too, but not necessarily (the action can continue through the transition).


A big shift in emotional mood can also indicate a section break. So can a piece of dramatic action. Often authors lead up to something dramatic or threatening (I opened the door and found myself staring at the business end of a pistol), then cut away to a different setting, thus stringing the reader along.


Very short chapters don't need scenes. Long ones do, to keep the reader from feeling that she has picked up an academic tome, not a work of fiction.



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I still like the section name better.... maybe that's because I learned what a scene was in reference to a screen play and not a novel. Are they really called scenes out there in the novel universe?

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